In April, we had the opportunity to join our non-profit partner Healthy Seas and kickoff their US expansion with the team from Ghost Diving USA. What better way to celebrate than with their first US dive mission?! Fox11 LA also came along for the day to amplify the conversation surrounding ghost fishing and find out what can be done with these ghost nets once recovered.
We spent the day on the water and witnessed six volunteer technical divers work in-tandem with team members on the surface to remove 300lbs of fishing nets from shipwreck off San Pedro. The divers reported poor visibility surrounding the two-piece wreck, but had surveyed the site prior to ensure a smooth operation.
The USS Moody was sunk in 1933 for the movie "Hell Below" and, since then, has accumulated marine debris, including ghost nets. This is the term for fishing nets that have been abandoned or lost at sea, creating deadly traps for unsuspecting marine life and destroying ecosystems.
An estimated 640,000 tons of fishing gear are lost or abandoned in the seas and oceans each year. Together Healthy Seas, Ghost Fishing USA, and their manufacturing partners are dedicated to removing ghost nets and transforming them into materials for new products like ours. Santos Swim's fabric is made of 78% ECONYL® regenerated nylon created from ghost fishing nets, carpet scraps, and other nylon waste.
We were excited to learn from people involved in each step of the process. This included the volunteer dive teams at Healthy Seas & Ghost Diving USA, manufacturing partners at Aquafil, businesses like ours who create products derived from recycled materials and advocates for marine protection. Heather from Ghost Diving USA shared the importance of introducing legislation that requires fishermen to repost lost nets right away, so teams can remove them quickly before they cause further damage.
It was an incredible opportunity to bring everyone together, raise awareness about the international issue of ghost fishing, and share how once-harmful waste can be a resource for something new. Be sure to watch the Fox11 news segment above to relive the day's mission with us and hear more about Santos Swim's story! Read the full news article on Fox11's website here.
[Photo credit: Sean Farkas]
Are you interested in learning more about ghost fishing nets and how they are repurposed? Let us know in the comments!