Material from a deadly ghost net removed from Cayman’s waters last week is being shipped to the U.S. and may be used in the manufacture of Adidas sports shoes.
Environmental organization Parley for the Oceans has arranged to take the netting. The group turns ocean plastic waste into thread that is woven into running shoes.
In partnership with sportswear giant Adidas, they produced a limited edition running shoe, the Adidas Parley, made from fishing line and other recycled materials.
Tim Austin, deputy director of the Department of Environment, said staff and volunteers from Plastic Free Cayman spent Sunday processing the net for shipping.
“We removed the lead, the rope and the floats and got it ready to be exported,” he said.
The skeletons of long dead marine creatures, some of the net’s victims, were also found ensnared in the mesh.
Mr. Austin said reusing the net would provide a positive end to a sad story.
“The whole idea of reusing monofilament fishing line like this is to do something good with something that is very bad for the ocean.”
Parley for the Oceans Director of Communications Silvia Raccagni said in an email that once the shipment of material from Cayman is received, the group will “assess and determine how to give these nets new life and purpose.” She added, “We will work with our partner network of leading creative brands, NGOs and governments to transform synthetic netting from threats into messengers for the cause, developing new uses for materials in order to generate awareness, drive eco-innovation, and support the goals of the Parley AIR Strategy (Avoid, Intercept, Redesign).”
Department of Environment divers were out on the reef off Rum Point last week, where the net was found, retrieving the remnants of fishing line.
Mr. Austin said parts of the net had snagged on the reef and were continuing to pose a threat to marine life.
“There was a crab trapped in one part of the net,” he said. “As long as it was there, it was a danger to marine life. A turtle could easily have got caught in it.”
The ghost net was discovered two weeks ago floating off Grand Cayman with numerous dead fish and sharks trapped inside. Experts said it could have been drifting for years, trapping and killing marine life.