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A Lethal Problem, an Innovative Solution

A Lethal Problem, an Innovative Solution

We have recently started selling products by Waterhaul and we wanted to tell you a bit more about this fabulous brand! Waterhaul was founded by marine scientist Harry Dennis when he noticed the prominence of abandoned fishing gear and nets in our oceans. He decided to make a difference by giving the discarded nets a new life. 

What is the problem? 

Fishing nets in the sea cause a specific problem because they are extremely strong and durable whilst also being fairly common and easy for animals to get entangled in. Fishing gear and nets are the most common and most lethal form of plastic in our oceans.

What is especially concerning is the phenomenon of ghost fishing,  where entangled and trapped marine life attract more species towards the net they are stuck in, causing a loop of caught sea life that only expands. According to the 2015 NOAA Marine Debris Program Report at one ghost fishing hot spot in Washington, USA, “a comprehensive analysis (Good et al., 2010) quantified the mortality of all marine organisms recovered from 870 derelict gillnets found and included:

  • 960 marine fishes (22 species)
  • 509 marine birds (15 species)
  • 23 marine mammals (4 species)
  • 65 species of marine invertebrates”

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that these nets will not degrade meaning they will remain there entangling and killing marine life unless something is done about it, that’s where Waterhaul comes in!

These nets are made of quality, high strength polymers. Which is negative in that this means they stick around in the oceans, however Waterhaul has used this to their advantage in order to make the best possible products, from sunglasses to litter pickers. Fishing nets durable enough to last 500 years make for strong, high quality sunglasses frames such as the Harlyn Aqua Recycled Sunglasses or the Zennor Recycled Sunglasses.

This is why all Waterhaul frames come with a lifetime warranty. As it says on Waterhaul’s website “Waterhaul sunglasses frames last you a lifetime, because they are made from nets that would last decades in the ocean.” 

What is the solution?

Recover, recycle, redesign. Nets are collected from across the Cornwall coastline. Next it is separated by polymer type and recycled. The two main polymer types utilised are nylon from siene nets and polypropylene from trawl nets. Nylon is especially lethal in our ocean as the translucent filaments are near invisible underwater. Whilst polypropylene is one of the most abundant forms of plastic in existence. 

The recycling is a mechanical process of shredding, washing and agglomeration. Don’t worry if you don’t know what agglomeration is- we didn’t either! It is essentially converting these shredded plastic pieces into a usable material that can be made into Waterhaul’s products such as the Recycled Adventure Knife or the Recycled Ocean Plastic Standard Litter Picker. They then inject mould to this 100% recycled raw material, transforming it into useful, durable products. You can see our whole Waterhaul range here.

 

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