Cartersville, Georgia, October 28, 2019 — As part of a campaign to protect the Cocos Island UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society partnered with Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment to collect and transport 34 tons of marine pollution, illegal shark finning long lines, and other confiscated fishing gear, which had been accumulating on the remote volcanic island of Cocos for over 25 years.
For a one-time project, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society removed over 1700 miles (2800 kilometers) of nylon monofilament fishing line from Cocos Island and shipped it to Aquafil to be transformed into ECONYL® regenerated nylon, which is used for carpet flooring and fashion items.
Island Del Coco National Park is home to many marine ecosystems that provide universal importance. The Costa Rican thermal dome off the coast of the Cocos Island gives 7% of biodiversity to the world. Thanks to this one-time collaboration, harmful marine debris was recovered from the ocean and is set to be transformed into a high performing material that can have a second life in new products.
“It is not just about sending a boat to the island and bring the trash to the mainland, it is to do the whole work,” stated Costa Rica’s Minister of the Environment Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, concluding “this is an achievement we are very proud of, and above all, we are very grateful for the support we received.”
“Plastics are a serious threat to marine ecosystems. Removing illegal nylon fishing gear from such a pristine environment, repurposing the material and ensuring it will not be used to kill sharks again is a big step in protecting sharks and the Tropical Eastern Pacific marine environment, which Cocos Island is part of,” said Captain Paul Watson. Adding “This is a very important migration route for sharks and Sea Shepherd’s commitment to protect sharks and their habitats is a holistic one, tackling Illegal targeting of sharks by longline and overseeing the proper disposal of the fishing gear, by ensuring a chain of custody from the high seas to the recycling facility.”
ECONYL® nylon is obtained through the regeneration process of nylon waste and reduces the global warming impact of nylon by up to 80 percent compared with material generated from oil. Aquafil, the Italian company that invented ECONYL®, brings new purpose to waste materials that would otherwise pollute the world’s landfills and oceans.
Since 1965, Aquafil has been one of the leading players, both in Italy and globally, in the production of polyamide 6 (nylon 6). The Aquafil Group has a presence in eight countries on three continents, employing more than 2,700 staff at 16 plants located in Italy, Germany, Scotland, Slovenia, Croatia, the USA, Thailand and China. Over the past decade Aquafil invested significant resources in the research and development of sustainable materials, which resulted in the creation of ECONYL® in 2011. To learn more about the company, please visit: https://www.aquafil.com. For media inquiries, contact Ellie Eckerle at [email protected]
ABOUT SEA SHEPHERD CONSERVATION SOCIETY
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is the world’s most passionate and powerful protector of ocean life. Since 1977, they have been on a mission to defend, conserve and protect the seas and marine wildlife like no organization can. As the largest private navy in the world, they lead direct-to-action, collaborative campaigns all ‘For The Oceans.’ For more information about Sea Shepard and their campaigns, please visit seashepherd.org. For media inquiries, contact Fox Deatry at [email protected]