Aquaculture equipment firm manufactures net for vessel that’ll trawl world’s oceans for plastic waste

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With a new tool, Dutch company The Ocean Cleanup will take on the enormous job of cleaning the world’s oceans for plastic.

“We are really proud to be a part of this. On a scale of one to ten, we are at twelve,” Mørenot chief Arne Birkeland told the news service NTB.

The Ocean Cleanup was founded in 2012 by Dutch entrepreneur Boyan Slat. The goal is to collect 90 per-cent of the waste plastic in the world’s oceans.

However, the first version of the plastic collector did not work as intended, and on Monday the international company launched a new prototype.

In simple terms, the collection takes place by two automated boats running parallel to the sea with a large net between them. The large net collects the plastic, which is regularly replaced.

The prototype will sail around the world throughout the year. At the end of July, it will be deployed to the Pacific Ocean to begin work.

Fisheries and aquaculture equipment firm Mørenot has made the net as well as the electronics that are inside. The Norwegian company has also been responsible for design and testing, in addition to the production of the equipment.

“Behavioural patterns have been looked at, analysed this and developed escape openings. Acoustic scare signals and scare lights have also been inserted to ensure that no marine life and fish are caught. There is also camera surveillance,” said Birkeland.

Birkeland explained that there is also an emergency release from the vessels if any creatures are herded in.

Every year, as much as eight to 12 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean, according to WWF. That equates to about 15 truckloads per minute.

Ninety per-cent of all plastic flowing into the ocean comes from ten rivers- specifically the Yangtze (China), the Indus (Pakistan), the Yellow River (China), Hai He (China), the Ganges (India), the Pearl River (China), the Amur (Russia), the Mekong (Vietnam), the Nile (Egypt) and Niger (Nigeria).