Discovering innovations that matter since 2002

Fishing nets biodegrade so they don't pollute the sea

A Spanish design student has created Remora, a sturdy fishing net that breaks down safely if it gets lost or abandoned.

Fishing nets are typically made of nylon or other synthetic plastics. The problem with this is that when they break, they're often simply abandoned, polluting the ocean and harming its wildlife. In the past we've written about Bureo Skateboards, a project that's cleaning up 'ghost' nets from the coast of Chile and turning them into skateboards. Now a Spanish design student has created Remora, a sturdy fishing net that breaks down safely if it gets lost or abandoned.

Developed as a project at Spain's ELISAVA Superior School of Design and Engineering, the net is intended to act as a replacement for those currently being used. Nylon nets can remain intact for decades, trapping marine animals before eventually disintegrating into tiny pieces of plastic that fish mistake for food. The Remora net on the other hand is made of thread that uses d2w as an additive in the polymer mix. This causes the plastic to biodegrade more safely and quickly, dissolving after around 4 or 5 years.

In addition to the new material technology used, the system also includes a way for nonprofits such as Healthy Seas to track the nets and retrieve them before they dissolve. The nets — either Remora or standard nets — can be equipped with yellow and orange plastic tags embedded with RFID chips. When one breaks, the tags inform the trawlers via an app if a piece has broken away. They can then choose to retrieve the missing piece of net so they can repair it, or report the location to a nonprofit for rediscovery.

Watch the video below to learn more about the idea:

Remora was shortlisted for the James Dyson Award 2014 and won the national prize for Spain. Are there other plastic products that could use this biodegradable technique to make the planet a healthier place?

Email: alejandro.plasencia@me.com

Website: www.alejandroplasencia.com

Download PDF

Springwise Services:
Our expertise in spotting the latest innovations is the best resource to empower your team’s future planning.

Find out More