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Norwegian Conference Investigates New Green Enterprise Ideas from Discarded Fishing Nets and Rope

Date of issue: September 20, 2016


An international conference focused on developing a circular economy for fishing nets and ropes in the Northern Periphery and Arctic Region (NPA) took place in Ålesund, Norway on the 1st and 2nd of September 2016. It was the first conference of the EU funded research project Circular Ocean and saw over 50 delegates attending from across Northern Europe, Scandinavia and beyond.

The event featured speakers from Norway, Denmark and the UK and brought together stakeholders to examine current conditions and opportunities in developing a circular economy and green enterprises based on recycling and reuse of plastics in fishing nets and ropes as well as to look at mapping important prerequisites to incentivize green enterprise development.

Speakers came from a variety of organisations and backgrounds including The Norwegian Environment Agency, The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, the Norwegian Coastal Administration, the Global Ghost Gear Initiative and the Healthy Seas initiative.  Novel research was presented by members of Universities, whilst private sector businesses represented different aspects of the recycling process from collection to reprocessing to new product development.

Many topics were examined including the recycling of fishing nets, ways of combating marine plastic waste, tools and solutions for keeping coastlines clean and practices and systems for reusing fishing nets. The conference also looked at research into reusing fishing nets for concrete reinforcement for the building sector and product opportunities of recycled plastic waste.  One of the final sessions focused on business opportunities in a circular economy with an example of innovative business models for marine litter being presented followed by an opportunity for experts and delegates to exchange ideas and experiences on how to establish green business models based on recycling and reuse of fishnets and ropes.

Annik Magerholm Fet, professor and director at NTNU Sustainability in the Norwegian University of Science and Technology said “We are delighted to be involved in this innovative project and to have hosted it in our region.  I believe the research and business models presented have broadened our understanding of the opportunities which can be harnessed from discarded fishing nets and ropes. The NTNU will continue to play a leading role in the Circular Ocean project both through our research and in discussions and debates at future events.”

Exhibited at the event was merchandise produced from recycled fishing nets and ropes. This included swimwear, jackets, socks, mats, jewellery, sunglasses, carpet tiles and skateboards which are produced by a range companies from across Europe and the Americas.   It is interesting to note that the fabric used in all the recycled clothing exhibited at the conference is regenerated nylon made from recycled fishing nets which is manufactured by the company ECONYL® (www.econyl.com).

These cutting edge innovations stimulated much interest and provided a tangible basis for discussions around building a circular economy and green enterprises from discarded fishing nets and ropes.  The conference organisers and project partners believe the presentations, discussions and exchanges at this event has informed the projects research, contributed to the development of eco-innovative ideas and will make a significant impact in furthering the creation of project resources including case studies, feasibility studies, and examples of pilot work.

Circular Ocean Conference – Norway, September 1st-2nd 2016

The Circular Ocean Team (L-R): Emily Kearl (ERI), Michelle Green (Macroom E), Dina Margrethe Aspen (NTNU), Dr. Neil James (ERI), Dr. Annik Magerholm Fet (NTNU), Sunniva Bratt Slette (NTNU), Prof. Martin Charter (CfSD), Ida Bertelsen (DTU), Prof. Lisbeth Ottsen (DTU), Katherine Corkery (Macroom E)

An exhibition of items made from recycled fishing nets and ropes

Dr. Annik Magerholm Fet (NTNU), Emily Kearly (ERI)

Michelle Green (Macroom E, Circular Ocean Communications Manager) and Dr. Neil James (Environmental Research Institute Scotland, Circular Ocean Project Lead)

Dr. Neil James (Circular Ocean Project Lead, Environmental Research Institute Scotland) introduces the Circular Ocean project

Dr. Annik Magerholm Fet (NTNU), Mr. Myles Mulligan (Irish Sea Fisheries Board), Lise Langård (Directorate of Fisheries, Norway)

A captive audience at the first day of the Circular Ocean conference

Circular Ocean Partners: Ida Bertelsen (Circular Ocean Project Partner, DTU), Prof. Lisbeth Ottsen (DTU)

ARTEK exhibit samples of their testing of discarded fishing net fibres as a possible reinforcement in concrete

Erlend Standal (Senior Advisor, Norwegian Environment Agency)

A showcase of food from the NPA region including Ireland, Scotland, UK, Greenland and Norway

Erlend Standal (Senior Advisor, Norwegian Environment Agency), Dr. Annik Magerholm Fet (Director & Academic Head of Sustainability, NTNU), Bente Lund Jakobsen (Director, Mørenot Aquaculture AS), Øistein Aleksandersen (CEO, Nofir), Christina Dixon (Global Ghost Gear Initiative, UK)

"Recyclability of collected fishnets and ropes" as presented by Nils Roar Hareide (Director, Runde Miljøsenter)

Bente Lund Jakobsen (Director, Mørenot Aquaculture AS) presenting "Are fishnets made for recycling?"

Networking and exploring the food showcase from the NPA region

An engaged audience enjoying day one of the Circular Ocean conference

Nils Roar Hareide (Director, Runde Miljøsenter) and Robert Wolff (SINTEF)

Brainstorming during the World Café networking session

Christina Dixon (Global Ghost Gear Initiative, UK) presenting on "A global, cross-sectoral approach to tackling lost and discarded fishing gear."

A brainstorming session at the World Café with conference delegates

A brainstorming session at the World Café with conference delegates

Dina Margrethe Aspen (NTNU), Dr. Neil James (ERI)

Dr. Annik Magerholm Fet (NTNU) with FengRong Zhang and Siyuan Gao (Northeast Normal University, China)

A captive audience during day one of the Circular Ocean conference

Nils Roar Hareide (Director, Runde Miljøsenter) presents "Recyclability of collected fishnets and ropes"

Michelle Green (Macroom E) showcasing the innovative Circular Ocean name badges

Sunniva Bratt Slette (NTNU), Ida Bertelsen (DTU)

Prof. Martin Charter (CfSD) presenting on "Waste Fishing Nets and Eco-innovation"

A Presentation at the Conference

Fish Nets in Norway

A Presentation at the Conference

A Presentation at the Conference

Delegates on a site visit

Looking at fish nets during a site visit

An exhibition of products made from recycled fishing nets and ropes

Engaged delegates on a site visit

Circular Ocean Project Partners with Conference Delegates

Fish Net Making in Norway

Delegates on tour

Project Partners Michelle Green and Martin Charter on a site visit

A Conference Presentation

Veronika Mikos, Healthy Seas encourages the audience to "Join our Journey" as part of her presentation, "An innovative business model for marine litter in Europe"

Fish Net Making in Norway

An Engaged Audience

Prof. Martin Charter (Circular Ocean Project Parner and Director of CfSD)

Prof. Martin Charter (Circular Ocean Project Parner and Director of CfSD)

Dr. Neil James (Circular Ocean Project Lead, ERI)

Manufacturing Fish Nets in Norway

Dr. Neil James (Circular Ocean Project Lead, ERI)

Networking Time

Networking Time

Hans Axel Kristensen, (CEO, Plastix Global) shares his insights into "New Technology for fishnet recycling"

A Conference Presentation

A Conference Presentation

A Conference Presentation

A Conference Presentation

Fish Net Manufacturing in Norway

Hans Axel Kristensen, (CEO, Plastix Global) presenting "New Technology for fishnet recycling"

 

 

 

 

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