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Waterhaul's founder was working as marine scientist back in 2018... Read More
Waterhaul's founder was working as marine scientist back in 2018 for a charity project engaging community action on plastic pollution. He'd been fortunate to travel the world for both research and adventure. However, the bright green strands of ghost gear that were a ubiquitous sight on every shoreline, from the Arctic Circle to the Coral Triangle developed a frustration.
A key moment was the realisation that all of the properties which make lost fishing gear such a problem; its abundance, its strength and durability, and its entanglement impacts, combine to make it both an excellent resource as a material and a priority target to remove from the ocean.
After many recycling trials, Waterhaul was founded in 2018, repurposing the fisheries term 'waterhaul' meaning an empty catch. Unlike it's original negative connotations, for us, hauling an empty net from the ocean is a success core to our manifesto.
Waterhaul's Mission. Our activities are anchored in purpose. As a social-enterprise, we exist to deliver our mission; to tackle ghost gear in oceans by transforming waste to valued resource. After months of design trials, errors and material failures, we finally produced our first functional prototype in November 2018.
Abandoned fishing gear and nets are the most common and also the most lethal forms of plastic in our ocean.
In a phenomenon known as ‘ghost fishing’, the entangled and trapped marine life will attract more species, resulting in an ongoing loop of catches .
As these discarded nets are produced from plastic, they will not degrade, persisting in the ocean to catch and kill marine life indefinitely.
We founded Waterhaul as frustrated marine conservationists - every winter our beaches were inundated with ghost gear and we were finding lines and offcuts daily. Our pile of collected nets grew and grew (as did our neighbours disapproval of the smell) which motivated us towards a solution. We developed a mechanical recycling solution to process various forms of end-of-life fishing gear, and produced our first pair of sunglasses in 2018.
The properties which make ghost gear such a threat in our oceans; the size and abundance of net, the quality of the high-strength polymers used, and the urgency to remove the plastic from harms way, all make fishing nets a desirable recycling resource. And as we suspected, fishing nets durable enough to last 500 years in ocean make for super-strong sunglasses frames.
FOR YOUR OCEAN ADVENTURES
We utilise the strongest form of plastic in our oceans to produce exceptionally sustainable, recycled eyewear. Eyewear that meets the technical demands of adventure, ocean-exposure and UV protection, but also act as ‘symbols of change’ for our oceans. Waterhaul sunglasses frames last you a lifetime, because they are made from nets that would last decades in the ocean.
We're passionate about combining adventure with purpose - action on the ocean, for the oceans. Our eyewear is designed to meet the demands of this environment and enhance your experience whilst symbolising and hopefully inspiring marine conservation. Share our ethos? We'd love to hear from you if so!
Collected from across the coastline of Cornwall. We're also developing schemes to assist preventing gear loss at the source, alongside a port based pilot scheme in Pembrokeshire.
Gear is separated by polymer type, and then recycled through a mechanical process of shredding, washing and agglomeration.
With our 100% recycled raw material, we injection mould this plastic into purposeful products.