Healthy Seas Foundation was born in 2013 at the behest of Aquafil, Star Sock, and the NGO Ghost Diving to tackle the ghost fishing phenomenon that is responsible for the needless death of marine animals. Through cleanups with volunteer divers and by working with stakeholders of the fishing sector toward marine litter prevention, Healthy Seas collect waste nets and ensure they become a valuable resource for a circular economy. In fact, together with other nylon waste nylon fishing nets are regenerated by Aquafil into ECONYL® yarn while the other types of plastics are also reused or recycled.
The passion that Healthy Seas shares to protect the seas and oceans steered them through the challenges of 2020 and the results of their activities are impressive. As one of the three founding partners of the Foundation, we, at Aquafil, are very happy to share Healthy Seas 2020 achievements.
- 75,000 kgs of waste nets collected are on their way to become beautiful new products
- 950 fishermen involved in Healthy Seas activities
- 380 children engaged in education programmes
- 200 volunteer divers involved in their cleanups
- 27 cleanups organised
- Over 3,000 viewers watched Healthy Seas Web Labs
- 41 new partners joined their journey, a 500% increase in only 3 years.
The Healthy Seas team, partners, and volunteers have worked hard throughout the year to continue the activities in waste nets collection, education and awareness-raising despite the difficulties.
Healthy Seas Director Veronika Mikos summarizes this year full of challenges:
„2020 was undeniably a difficult year. At Healthy Seas we saw it as a unique opportunity to re-establish our relationship with nature, by highlighting the role of the ocean and its important contribution to our wellbeing.
In spite of COVID and the restrictions set in place to curb the virus, most of the Healthy Seas diving projects took place where traveling was allowed. However, to comply with safe distancing regulations, fewer divers than usual were allowed on the boats which meant that in general less ghost nets could be recovered during a cleanup action than in previous years. Due to the restrictions, it was not possible to welcome guests, partners or journalists at the diving trips either.
We were forced to think outside of the box and channel more of their efforts into digital activities in order to continue to fulfill our mission to raise awareness about the marine environment and sustainability.“