FIVB launch ocean sustainability project
Last Updated: 20/03/19 1:38pm
FIVB, world volleyball's governing body, have launched a brand new initiative aimed at recovering discarded fishing nets from the world's oceans.
In the same week that Sky News descended hundreds of feet below the Indian Ocean to broadcast the world's first live TV news bulletins from under the sea, the body responsible for world volleyball have joined the cause.
Teaming up with Netherlands-based marine conservation group the Ghost Fishing Foundation (Ghost Fishing), FIVB have launched Good Net, a project designed to turn discarded fishing nets into volleyball nets for local community use around the world.
All week on Sky News, Anna Botting and Nekton mission pilot Randy Holt are going hundreds of feet below the surface of the Indian Ocean in a mini-submarine fitted with cameras to draw attention to the plight of the world's oceans.
As divers, we care deeply about the oceans. We also understand just how ghost nets do a huge amount of harm to marine wildlife in places where only a tiny few can see that damage is being done.
But volleyball nets, whether on a local beach or at a televised tournament, have a whole other level of visibility.
Ghost Fishing CEO Pascal van Erp
Every year, 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear finds its way into the oceans, where it continues to trap marine wildlife, including whales, dolphins, turtles and fish of all kinds.
Good Net aims to raise global awareness of the problem while also contributing to the solution. Launching Good Net on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - the site of the Rio 2016 beach volleyball tournament - and also home to a school that was completely renovated by the FIVB for the Olympic Games.
Today local people from the area are playing on a beach court that used transformed fishing nets for the first time and learning more about the problem of ghost nets.
"As volleyball players, nets are at the centre of our game and of our joy. And we love the beach. So, for us, it was really hard to learn that, in the oceans, there are so many nets that are doing so much harm out of sight," said Brazilian volleyball star Giba, speaking at the launch.
"With volleyball, we have the most watched sport at the Olympic Games. Who better to team up with groups like Ghost Fishing, so we can act as one to make Good Net?"
Good Net has also joined the United Nations (UN) Clean Seas campaign in the fight against marine plastic pollution. Launched in February 2017, the Clean Seas campaign aims to increase global awareness of the issue of marine litter, as well as to implement measures that highlight and address the gaps in waste and recycling management.
Sky's Ocean Rescue campaign encourages people to reduce their single-use plastics. You can find out more about the campaign and how to get involved at www.skyoceanrescue.com.