At present, some of the sources of marine plastic litter are known to be lost and abandoned fishing gear, which is referred to as "ghost gear," "ALDFG" (Note 1), etc. Through SeaBOS (Note 2), Nissui has joined GGGI (Note 3) and is also making efforts to prevent fishing gear used by fishery companies and aquaculture companies in the Nissui Group in Japan from flowing out into the ocean.
(Note 1) Abandoned, Lost or otherwise Discarded Fishing Gear.
(Note 2) Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship.
(Note 3) Global Ghost Gear Initiative. An international body working to prevent fishing gear from flowing out into the ocean.
The Nissui Group will manage fishing gear in a thoroughgoing manner not only to prevent fishing gear from flowing out into the ocean but also to help reduce accidents involving the breakage of fishing gear (operation loss, escaped cultured fish and other factors that affect the ecosystem) and work-related accidents. We are also reestablishing fishing gear management rules at fishery companies and aquaculture companies in the Nissui Group in Japan. The rules consist of items in accordance with GGGI's "Best Practice Framework for the Management of Fishing Gear" (i.e., Prevention and Mitigation), which include fishing gear and equipment status checks, employee education, responsible disposal of used fishing gear, and the flow of reporting in the unlikely event that any fishing gear is lost or abandoned.
Goal of the Nissui Group
By the end of FY2024, the Nissui Group will cease the use of polystyrene foam floats in nylon covers for use in aquaculture and completely switch over to floats that have a lower risk of becoming plastic that outflows into the ocean.
The Nissui Group is engaged in the farming of salmon and trout outside Japan, and of yellowtail, tuna, coho salmon, mackerel, red sea bream, and others in Japan. Traditionally, mostly polystyrene foam floats wrapped in nylon covers have been used in marine aquaculture operations in Japan (Note 1), but compared to other types of floats, the nylon covers inferior in terms of strength, and there are concerns over the risk that, if they happen to tear, the polystyrene inside them could break apart and outflow into the ocean. Given that problem, in FY2019, we conducted a study on the number of nylon-covered polystyrene foam floats owned and their use by the Group as a whole (as of July 2019, the Group had 18,828 such floats). Furthermore, we made the decision to cease the use of such floats entirely throughout the Nissui Group by the end of FY2024 and replace them with floats that have a lower risk of outflowing into the ocean.(Note 2) The Group as a whole will continue to study the use of fishery gear with a lower risk of outflowing out into the ocean and to work to address the problem of marine plastic through our businesses.
Floats used in marine aquaculture
Before switchover: Nylon-covered polystyrene foam floats
Post-switchover example: PE-coated polystyrene foam floats
(Note 1): We were able to confirm that the marine aquaculture fisheries of Group companies outside Japan are not using nylon-covered polystyrene foam floats.
(Note 2): PE-coated polystyrene foam floats or hollow resin floats.
|Total number of nylon-covered polystyrene foam floats in use/storage at aquaculture companies in Nissui Group in Japan (July 2019)||Number of floats replaced|
|Company name||Fishing method||Main fishing gear used||Description of initiative|
|EMDEPES (Chile)||Trawl fishing||Towing net wire, otter board (i.e., trawl door), trawling net, codend (i.e., fishing net shaped like a bag for retaining fish)||An Automatic Trawl Winch (ATW) that can automatically control the towing net wire was introduced to prevent wire and fishing nets from being severed by automatically extending the towing net wire in the event that fishing gear gets entangled at the bottom of the sea. This function minimizes damage to fishing gear and prevents fishing gear from flowing out into the ocean.|
Automatic Trawl Winch of EMDEPES
Fishing gear of EMDEPES
Marine litter including plastics is said to originate from the land, mainly from the cities but its discharge routes are not known. From fiscal 2018, Nissui has been a supporter of Pirika Inc., which is committed to the Albatross Project that aims to investigate the facts surrounding plastics flowing into the ocean and has commenced concrete approaches in dealing with the problems of the marine environment and the problem of plastics flowing into the ocean, which are directly connected to Nissui’s business.
Details of the Albatross Project which aims to investigate the facts surrounding the problem of plastics flowing into the ocean
Development of research methods : Develop an effective method of research on the flow of plastics into the ocean.
Clarification of the flow mechanism : Study the mechanism of plastics flowing into the ocean (flow routes and flow items) and narrow down the problem.
Study and implementation of measures : Study, prioritize and implement measures to combat the problem of plastics flowing into the ocean.