Maruha Nichiro: Deepening the industry’s first ‘Fishing Net Recycling’ initiative by utilizing discarded fishing nets – September 18, 2023 at 10:09 PM EST

Deepening the industry’s first “Fishing Net Recycling Fishing Net”.
Initiative to exploit discarded fishing nets

August 21, 2023

Taiyo A&F Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Koto-ku, Tokyo; President: Osamu Momiyama; hereinafter referred to as “TAIYO A&F”), a group company of Maruha Nichiro Corporation (Head Office: Koto-ku, Tokyo; President : Masaru Ikemi), Toray Industries Inc. (Head Office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President: Akihiro Nikaku; hereinafter referred to as “Toray”) NITTO SEIMO CO., LTD. (Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Hiroaki Kobayashi; hereafter “NITTO SEIMO”) announced today that they will expand the program launched last November to contribute to the circular economy and help solve the marine plastic problem by recycling materials. From used fishing nets to new ones. The program will now also work to recover material from nylon fishing nets.

In November this year, TAIYO A&F plans to conduct a pilot operation with offshore purse seine fisheries using fishing nets that use recycled raw threads from discarded fishing nets. This will be the first time in the industry that recycled fishing nets will be used after being used in operations in actual fisheries.
It is difficult to reuse used fishing nets because the strength and durability of their fibers deteriorate during spinning due to separation of each material, adhesion of waste and algae contamination in the sea. Accordingly, the recycling program launched last year was limited to nylon scraps and process waste generated from net production.

Toray then leveraged a proprietary technology that uses some nylon from discarded fishing nets to develop a recycled polymer that resembles the raw material. NITTO SEIMO manufactures nets using these fibres. TAIYO A&F’s offshore trawler Taiyo Maru No. 21 will be deployed on a trial basis in the North Pacific Ocean in November this year to expand the scope of the programme.

The three companies will confirm the commercial viability of these new fishing nets. They will rely on the results of the trials, and investigate material ranges, ratios and other aspects to expand their use with the aim of bringing the new mosquito nets to the market in December 2023.

The three companies will continue to strengthen joint innovation and cooperation to deepen the efforts of the social system of “net to net fishing net recycling” with new technological innovations and advanced materials through Toray and NITTO SEIMO to develop and manufacture innovative fishing line and thread. Nets are made from pre-consumer materials such as process waste and post-consumer materials such as used fishing nets, and TAIYO A&F cooperates in product testing.

The three companies will continue to work together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) “Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production” and “Goal 14: Life Below Water”.

The F/V Taiyo Maru No.21 will deploy recycled fishing nets

“Under our medium-term management plan, one element of our sustainability strategy is to create environmental value, including at TAIYO A&F,” said Masaru Ikeme, President and CEO of Maruha Nichiro, on behalf of the company and its subsidiary TAIYO A&F. Ring by reducing the plastic content in containers and other packaging materials by 30% by FY 2030. This also entails addressing the problem of marine plastic by formulating fishing gear management guidelines and implementing them fully within the group by FY 2024.

“For the Ocean, for Life” is the brand statement of the Maruha Nichiro Group as well as the mission of TAIYO A&F to fulfill, commented Osamu Momiyama, President of TAIYO A&F. The effective use of used fishing gear and nets as a recycling resource will contribute to creating environmental value for our fishing industry, which has been a major issue for many years.
With the outcome of the upcoming trial, we hope that things will go well. We will work together as a company to create value for the marine environment for the entire fishing industry.

Contact for media inquiries:
Corporate branding department,
Maruha Nishiro Company

(tags for translation) Markets

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