6 creative ways to tackle ghost gear
From socks to doormats, puppies to Christmas trees, get inspired by some of these amazing creative solutions to ghost gear from around the world.
1. Ghost Net Art Project: Sue Ryan
Australia’s Gulf of Carpentaria sees thousands of ghost fishing nets wash up on its shores each year. Thankfully there is a committed group of Indigenous Australians awaiting to transform them into artwork and products that generate income for their community and raises awareness about the damaging impact ghost gear has on the marine environment.
Take a look at these incredible dog sculptures by Sue Ryan, Director of the Ghost Net Art Project for GhostNets Australia. You’d never guess they were once fishing gear!
McIvor's Dog: Sue Ryan, ocula.com/artists/sueryan
Red: Sue Ryan, ocula.com/artists/sueryan
2. Art sculptures: Katrina Slack
Our Sea Change campaigners in the United Kingdom have been supporting local communities and conservation organisation Surfers Against Sewage to get ghost gear off coastal areas. When ghost gear washes up on UK beaches, it can have a devastating impact on marine wildlife. At a recent beach clean, 6000 volunteers removed 25 tonnes of marine litter! Go team!
And check out what they’re doing with some of the ghost gear collected.
This life-sized seal artwork is lovingly nicknamed ‘Scrappy’. He’s made by Cornwall artist Katrina Slack. Katrina is now working on a whole set of marine animals to help our Sea Change team empower the UK to clear our seas and beaches of ghost gear.
3. Cruiser skateboard decks: Bureo
Question: What’s fast, saves animals, and takes you wherever you need to go?
Answer: A skateboard!
But not just any skateboard. This one’s made out of recycled fishing nets! First they’re collected off the shores of Santiago, Chile, by fishnet recycling program, Net Positiva. Then they’re transformed into these awesome Bureo cruiser skateboard decks. It’s the first skatedeck made from recycled marine debris.
I'm not sure I’m ready to permanently ditch the dive fins for a skateboard yet, but if it gets you from A to B, and saves marine animals along the way, I’m on board!
4. Journey from waste to wear: Healthy Seas
If skating’s not your thing, a cosy pair of socks could be a great reward for helping marine animals instead.
The Healthy Seas initiative is a collaboration between the ECNC Group, Aquafil and Star Sock. In a ‘journey from waste to wear’, the ECNC Group coordinates volunteer divers to recover ghost nets, then sends them to Aquafil’s factory in Slovenia where they are regenerated into ECONYL® nylon yarn.
This yarn can then be used to create a range of textile products, such as carpet tiles, bikinis, and these cute socks from Star Sock.
5. Christmas Tree: Pete Clarkson
Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how fishy are your branches?
Ok, so it might take a bit of convincing to get your family to replace the traditional holiday decorations with ones made from fishing litter, but that’s the challenge this artist from Canada took last Christmas. Check out his display at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre:
The tree was constructed from marine debris found along the West Canadian shoreline, including a variety of buoys and a whopping big green fishing net.
6. Reycled doormats: Maine Float Rope Company
It’s not only nets and lines that can find new life in products made from fishing gear. How would you like to wipe your shoes on a door mat made from recycled float-rope? This material was once used by lobster fishermen in the Gulf of Maine to tie their traps together, but was banned after it was discovered to be harming the Northern Right Whale, an endangered species.
So what's happening to all the float-ropes that can no longer be used? The Main Float Rope Company have put their heads together and designed these attractive, supremely durable doormats. It's a solution right on your doorstep!
Whether it’s a household item, artwork, or even a skateboard, people around the world are developing solutions to the ghost gear crisis and creating valuable, even beautiful, things.