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UCA expert leads challenge to find solutions to issues affecting fishing industry

One of our experts in sustainable design has led a series of challenges to encourage researchers to design solutions to some of the most significant issues affecting the fishing industry.

The #ChemHack challenge, led by Professor Martin Charter, Director of our Centre for Sustainable Design (CfSD), took place at the 17th European Meeting on Environmental Chemistry. The challenge was held as part of Circular Ocean, an award-winning transnational project which is funded by the EU and of which CfSD at UCA is a partner.

At the conference, Professor Charter challenged doctoral, post-doctoral and senior environmental chemists to design: 

  • washing processes to remove anti-foulants and other chemical compounds impregnated into nylon fishing nets, ropes and cages
  • processes to decontaminate the waste water arising from the washing process
  • processes to extract copper compounds from FNRs and cages for metals recycling.

Professor Charter said: "#ChemHack produced excellent solutions to the problem of washing anti-foulants from nylon fishing nets. #ChemHack builds on the GreenThink innovation process used at the #Net_Hack_Challenge that will be further developed for an innovation workshop in Iceland in summer 2017.”

The 17th European Meeting on Environmental Chemistry, which was attended by researchers from around the world, was hosted by the Circular Ocean project’s lead partner, the Environmental Research Institute.

Circular Ocean aims to inspire remote communities to realise the economic opportunities of discarded fishing nets and ropes, helping to turn marine waste into a useful resource and supporting the creation of a more circular economy.

Partners of the Circular Ocean include CfSD at UCA, the Environmental Research Institute of the North Highland College UHI in Scotland, Macroom E in Ireland, the Arctic Technology Centre based in Greenland, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.