Satlink Ecuador’s manager Juan Carlos Larrea receives the company’s award from Priscilla Torres, General Co-ordinator of the Latin America Green Awards

A project to collect end-of-life fishing gear for recycling and reuse in the creation of new products has won the second-place prize of the Latin America Green Awards, which recognises the most innovative initiatives to preserve the marine ecosystem.

The Net100-Net​+Positiva project has been recognised among more than 230 from 19 countries and several NGOs have already requested to replicate the project, in which recycling company Bureo also collaborates, in other areas.

Spanish company Satlink has collaborated in this project with Bureo Inc and World Animal Protection under the umbrella of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative.

A leading provider of technological solutions for the fishing sector, Satlink and also markets satellite communications solutions in the terrestrial and air environment. Headquartered in Madrid, Satlink has offices in Seychelles, Ecuador and Fiji. The company has a has become a keen promoter of sustainable fishing practices.

Its partner Bureo is a certified Benefits Corporation operating between California and Chile focused on developing innovative solutions to prevent ocean plastic pollution, and founded Chile’s first fishing net collection and recycling program, Net+Positiva in 2013.

It’s aim has been to provide fishermen access to waste disposal points for fishing gear along the coast of Chile as a means of preventing ocean pollution. Through partnerships with a growing list of companies such as Patagonia and Costa Sunglasses, Bureo is able to transform this once harmful plastic pollution into new positive products.

This sixth round of the Awards, which was held from 21-25st August at Guayaquil in Ecuador, recognised the 500 best initiatives in Latin America in this field.

There are ten award categories, inspired by the fulfilment of the Objectives of Sustainable Development, Vision 2050 of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Rockström. The Net100-Net+Positiva project, in addition to second place in the Oceans category, also obtained sixth place in the Solid Waste category, and 19th place in the 500 projects included in the Social and Environmental Projects in Latin America.

Net100-Net+Positiva has collected 100 tonnes of fishing nets along the coast of Chile up to last June, six months ahead of schedule, managing these in a sustainable manner for recycling into new products such as skateboards, sunglasses or office chairs.

In addition, the project has generated jobs in Chile’s artisanal fishing communities and reinforced a culture of sustainability in fishing in the region.