fishermen tackling ocean plastic pollution

The Ocean Integrity Group are working with fishermen like Johnny Walsh from Kinsale in Ireland tackling ocean plastic pollution

In a groundbreaking move, the Ocean Integrity Group has welcomed Johnny Walsh, an esteemed skipper and owner of three commercial fishing vessels based in Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland, to join its Blue Ocean Program.

This innovative program, akin to carbon offset initiatives, empowers businesses to reduce plastic use and become Plastic Neutral, while also supporting local fishing families in the collection of ocean plastic.

The Ocean Integrity Group’s Blue Ocean Program operates as a plastic offset program. It not only facilitates plastic reduction for businesses but also ensures Plastic Neutrality. Funds generated contribute to providing living wages and sustainable housing for local fishing families engaged in collecting plastic waste from the ocean. The collected plastic undergoes reuse and recycling into new products and building materials.

Johnny Walsh, a highly regarded figure in the fishing industry, will actively participate in this initiative, with his three fishing vessels closely monitored for plastic usage and collection at sea. Utilising a dedicated mobile application and maintaining an annual log, this endeavour aims to showcase the positive impact of these vessels on ocean health, with all data stored transparently through blockchain technology.

The old fishing nets from Walsh’s vessels will be repurposed in Asia and Africa, capable of collecting several million kilograms of plastic annually—up to 50 times more than the amount of plastic used by the fishing company. These collections will be independently audited, and blockchain technology will provide accessible data.

For every kilogram of frozen langostino prawns sold under the Johnny Walsh brand, Ocean Integrity Group commits to removing one kilogram of ocean plastic. This commitment underscores Walsh’s unprecedented dedication to sustainability.

The fishing company’s old nets, specifically Nylon 6 “monofilament,” will be recycled. Nylon 66 and HDPE trawls will be repurposed for ocean plastic collection. Two of these nets will be transformed into eight plastic collection devices, capable of removing over 2,000,000 kilograms of ocean plastic annually.

All ocean plastic collected by Walsh’s vessels under the Blue Ocean Program will be meticulously tracked through the Ocean Integrity APP, with data securely stored on blockchain technology. This initiative is set to offset Johnny’s fishing company’s plastic footprint, resulting in a surplus of ocean plastic removal—up to 1,995,000 kilograms per year.

The collective effort to remove 2000 tonnes of ocean plastic will substantially reduce the global carbon footprint by over 6000 tonnes of CO2. This initiative once again emphasises that fishermen are an integral part of the solution to ocean plastic waste, debunking the common portrayal of them as the problem.

“Once again, fishermen are the solution to ocean plastic waste, not the problem as often portrayed,” says founder and CEO of the Ocean Integrity Group, Kieran Kelly.

As this pioneering effort sets a remarkable precedent, the Ocean Integrity Group encourages support through likes, comments, and shares. Stay tuned for next week’s feature, highlighting another fishing company from Ballycotton County Cork.

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