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Fighting for Trash Free Seas®

Ending the flow of trash at the source

North American Net Collection Initiative

Meet the first initiative to address ghost gear in coastal waters of Mexico, United States & Canada

The North American Net Collection Initiative (NANCI) is the first transboundary initiative to address abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) in the coastal waters of Mexico, United States and Canada, bringing together local organizations to prevent, mitigate and remediate ghost gear. NANCI was developed by the Global Ghost Gear Initiative® (GGGI) after Mexico became a member in 2020.

The goals of NANCI are to:

  • Develop knowledge of ghost gear in Mexico.
  • Facilitate the creation of Mexico’s first national ghost gear management strategy.
  • Promote the GGGI’s Best Practice Framework for the Management of Fishing Gear.
  • Remove ghost gear from critical areas.
  • Transform end-of-life gear.

In collaboration with Natural Resources Consultants, NANCI has built the first comprehensive predictive model and map of ghost gear hotspots in Mexican waters. This model uses a variety of dataset types, including several hundreds of on-the-ground surveys conducted by our in-country partners Pronatura Noroeste, Pronatura System chapters and the Manta Caribbean Project with fishers in Mexico’s 17 coastal states. The model will be further refined over the next few years and will guide the country’s national ghost gear management strategy.

From northwest to southeast Mexico, the GGGI has also led and hosted several workshops to raise awareness of the scope and impact of ghost gear and to increase uptake of gear management best practices based on GGGI’s Best Practice Frameworks for the Management of Fishing Gear. We have hosted workshops in Ensenada, Cancun and Mexico City for fisheries stakeholders, fishers, Government agencies and local NGOs.

Net Recycling:

Bureo, a member of the GGGI, key partner to NANCI, and a certified B-Corp, developed an end-of-life gear collection and recycling process that turns fishing nets into material that can be used to produce a variety of new objects, such as skateboards or winter jackets. Bureo is implementing fishing net recycling programs in South and Latin America. Their patented “Net Plus” is a third-party verified post-consumer recycled plastic constructed from 100% waste fishnets, which operates through a shared-value model to give back to coastal fishing communities for every kilo of fishing net received.

The first batch of 14 tons of end-of-life fishing nets from Mexico was preprocessed in Ensenada, shipped and received at Bureo’s net processing facility in Oxnard, California on November 22, 2022. Five new Mexican partners have recently agreed to donate end of life nets to NANCI for recycling.

Under its Small Grants Program, the GGGI awarded a grant in 2022 to Hagamos Mas, a Mexican local non-governmental organization based in the central part of the Baja California Peninsula, to raise awareness and to collect and properly dispose of ghost gear along the Gulf of California. To date, this GGGI-Hagamos Mas collaboration has resulted in ghost gear awareness presentations and talks to more than 800 community members in the Santa Rosalia – Mulege corridor. In addition, more than 2 tons of end-of-life nets have been collected from the fishers of the corridor.

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