#TBT: OceanPostive Meets Ghostfishing @ Boot.2016

Fourth Element, Ocean Positive, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Boot Show, Pascal van Erp, recycled clothing, EUROTEK advanced diving conference
Ghost fishing meets Fourth Element thanks to the OceanPositive catalyst - from left to right Pascal van Erp, Rosemary E Lunn, Jim Standing @ 2016 Dusseldorf Boot Show

A small but historic meeting took place at this year's Dusseldorf's Boot Show.

After 'virtually' working together for several years, Pascal van Erp of Ghostfishing.org met with Jim Standing from Fourth Element on Tuesday 26th January 2016. The catalyst that initially brought them together in 2013, and then introduced them in real-life in 2016 was TUMC's Rosemary E Lunn (aka Roz).

"From a young age I had been brought up to recycle and respect the environment," stated Roz. "So when I heard Pascal talk at a European diving conference about the ghost fishing project, including how the recovered fishing gear is recycled into usable, knittable nylon, I was hooked. I instantly knew that this project would also jibe with Fourth Element's ethos. They are as engaged with the environment as I am - both our companies know how important it is to recycle, reuse and reduce.

As soon as I could, I briefed Jim Standing, knowing that he and Paul Strike had the vision and knowledge to create something rather lovely and useful, whilst closing the 'grave to cradle' circle. Little did I realise that one phone call would result in the genesis of OceanPositive.

DEMA-Show-2014_Jim-Standing_Sylvia-Earle_Ocean-Positive_Rosemary-E-Lunn_Roz-Lunn_The-Underwater-Marketing-Company
Jim Standing and Dr Sylvia Earle

I was incredibly lucky to meet with Dr Sylvia Earle at the 2014 DEMA Show and talk to her about OceanPositive. When I was subsequently able to introduce her to Jim Standing and show her the OceanPositive range, it was a momentous moment because this clothing range is very close to my heart.

I spend my professional life putting people and businesses together. It is rather like doing a jigsaw puzzle, joining two seemingly random pieces together to make a proper picture. I can see a product, service or person and know who the matching right person is in the diving industry. I have found watching OceanPositive evolve and grow utterly fascinating. It was therefore very special introducing Pascal to Jim in person for the first time."

Ghost Fishing Comes To EUROTEK.2016

Pascal van Erp, EUROTEK, ghost fishing, healthy seas, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, OceanPositive, Fourth Element, recycling fishing nets, recycled clothing
Pascal van Erp

It has just been announced that 'Ghost Fishing' founder Pascal Van Erp is to speak at EUROTEK on 8th and 9th October 2016.

Pascal is a passionate temperate wreck diver. However much to his dismay, he often found the North Sea wrecks he was diving were covered in nets that 'ghost fished'.

'Ghost Fishing' is the term given to an abandoned fishing net, snagged on reef or wreck, that continues to trap marine wildlife. The marine life eventually dies, whilst the net continues to fish. It is estimated that up to 640,000 tonnes of nylon fishing gear lurks beneath the ocean, and more is added daily.

One day on a dive, Pascal recovered some net. It changed the ethos of his diving - from being an ardent wreck diver to a passionate environmental diver. He was soon heading up a team of divers actively recovering discarded and trapped nets from Netherlands waters. The 'Ghost Fishing Foundation' was born.

Ghost fishing, Pascal van Erp, Heather Hamza, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, EUROTEK speakerToday a number of divers from Global Underwater Explorers are involved around the world (Germany, Greece, Pakistan, Spain, USA) with this dangerous, demanding and hazardous pursuit. And it has even come to the UK! Last year Pascal lead a team of Brits to recover ghost fishing nets in Scapa Flow.

You might think the story would finish there, but that would be to underestimate this tall quiet Dutchman. Pascal wanted a suitable solution. The answer was to recycle the recovered fishing gear into usable, knittable ECONYL® nylon yarn.

Enter stage left EUROTEK co-founder Rosemary E Lunn. She heard Pascal speak about the Ghost Fishing Project and thought the new fabric fascinating and something that divers would want to wear. She briefed Fourth Element about the project knowing that this Cornish company is heavily environmentally focused. In 2014 Fourth Element fully closed the loop on the recycling circle, by launching their 'grave-to-cradle' 'OceanPositive' range of water-wear garments.

Pascal Van Erp is going reveal the latest projects the Ghost Fishing Foundation have been involved in at EUROTEK.2016. Tickets for this advanced diving conference are selling quickly. To secure your pass click here.