The skippers and crews we work with are members of the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation (the CFPO) and mainly operate under a Marine Stewardship Council certified code fishing for Cornish Hake. This is a highly regulated and externally certified sustainable fishery that is committed to sound end-of-life gear management.
Fishy Filaments’ recycled nylon (technically known as PA6) is unusual, possibly unique, in the world of 3D printing filaments. We can track the polymers we reclaim all the way from their original sources, commonly in the Far East, through the global fishing net supply chain, the local commercial fishery and ultimately to our doorstep.
This is possible is because the nylon nets used by commercial fisheries are made to very high standards in order to meet the demands of an extremely tough industry.
To make sure we know exactly what the net material is and where it is coming from we carry out scientific analysis to confirm documentary evidence. We also regularly commission independent ISO accredited labs to make sure that the material we recycle meets RoHS2.0 material safety standards.
When they get to us the nets have typically been used by Cornish fishers for around 6 months. They are routinely swapped out because their surfaces become cloudy with age due to wear and the build up of an algal biofilm. With time and repeated use eventually the fish can sense them in the water and avoid them. Skippers can see their catches fall as their nets age and the economics of running a commercial fishing boat means that it makes sense to replace the net panels, but only the net panels. The rest of the fishable net; the floats, the weighted ropes, etc, are re-used many times over.
Net lofts around the harbours strip the panels manually, and re-string frame lines (the ropes on the top & bottom of each net) whenever a panel gets too dirty or gets ripped, then we take both full panels at the end of their useful life and fragments of repaired nets for recycling.
So the nets coming to us might be a bit salty, have a few bits of seaweed and the odd crab claw attached, but the underlying high quality polymer is still there and we do our very best to make sure that we don’t destroy its value by over processing, adding pigments or including other chemical modifiers.