At a Pune Factory, 6,000 Tonnes of ‘Ghost Nets’ Are Being Turned Into Surfing Boards
Posted By : Fiona Fernandes | Date : Feb 8 2022 12:50 PM
Over 6,40,000 tonnes of fishing gear like nets, traps, pots and lines are dumped into the ocean every year. Their weight is equivalent to over 1,00,000 buses which adds to the pollution mainly consisting of plastic.
‘Ghost nets’ or ‘ghost gears’ are discarded and abandoned fishing nets that often entangle marine life, and kill them by accidental entrapment and choking.
To solve the massive environmental issue that affects marine life globally, a Pune- based company DSM Engineering Materials—that works in the field of nutrition, health, biosciences and sustainable living—is converting the discarded fishing nets into high-quality surfboards.
“The company entered an agreement with Starboard—a global leading waterspouts company that sells surf, windsurf, paddle and kiteboards—to assist in the effort,” says Dr Nileshkumar Kukalyekar, Product Manager Asia Pacific at DSM Engineering Materials.
He says that the 120-year old company always strives to bring solutions that help better the environment. “The company wanted to contribute meaningfully in terms of solving the global plastic pollution problem,” he adds.
Dr Nilesh says the abandoned fishing nets heavily impact the fishermen community living along the shores. “These ghost nets often get entangled in motors or rudders of the fishing boat. It also hampers the local flora and fauna, which impacts the biodiversity and fish population. The reduction in fish directly impacts the fishermen community’s livelihood,” he explains.
Addressing the problem, the company has recycled about 6,000 tonnes of nets into surfboards.
Dr Nilesh says that the fishing fraternity is roped in to trace and collect discarded fishing nets from the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.