It is not a secret that our oceans are the most polluted areas of our planet. Tons of businesses from different industries all consider bodies of water as great waste disposal spaces and are unaware or simply do not care about the repercussions of their actions on marine life. Fishing is undoubtedly the most polluting industry, creating the extinction of species and intoxication of water. Not only does the fishing business have ethical issues to uncover and fix, but its chaotic waste disposal system needs to change as soon as possible to limit the damages that human pollution has been causing in our oceans.
Fishing gear often ends up abandoned in the ocean after it has been worn out, this waste piling up in the water becomes “Ghost Gear” which are infamous for harming marine life and its environment. Fishing nets are one of the most dangerous objects for many species like turtles, dolphins and even whales as these animals get tangled up and often choke in them. Corals and the ocean sea floor are also at risk of further destruction.
Even if this problem has been known and confronted by many associations, none of the 15 largest fishing companies in the world are showing intention to rectify this uncontrollable situation. Because of silence on the matter, a recorded 48 000 tons of ghost nets are generated each year. Since few government regulations exist concerning the collection and correct disposal of ghost gear, it becomes very difficult to discern the culprits of disposal and the problem still remains unsupervised. (source)
There has been a movement of individual and group activists that are trying to find their own alternatives to this problem. The creation of biodegradable fishnets made of coconut fibers makes sustainable options more accessible to fishermen. Technology systems to mark and track ghost gear are also under trial as an alternative to our current fishing system. Replacing the future material of fishing gear reduces the waste disposal in future years. However, it does not help clean the tons of ghost gear that are already in the water. For that reason, these activists started collecting ghost gear themselves to refurbish the material into something new and beautiful.
BEDI Studios is very proud to showcase some of this art made of ghost gear available to check out at our Flagship store. The mats that are made by Shay, a Canadian artisan who had the idea for her art whilst on a trip to British Columbia. She was walking close to the water one day and noticed a massive pile of fishing nets that a fisherman confirmed to be worn out and ready for disposal. At this sight, Shay spontaneously took as much of the material as she could and started weaving it on a loom. She came up with multiple designs of doormats, dog toys, outdoor carpets and many more. Not only did she turn trash into treasure, but she also innovated a whole other potential for the material and hopefully, encouraged others to create like she did.
Each mat is a ‘one of a kind’ piece and are meant to last a lifetime. If you have any questions concerning ghost gear or the confection of Shay’s matts feel free to ask at email@example.com it will be our pleasure to answer you!