AKVA group is a key player in an exciting collaboration with Nofir, Aquafil, Grieg Seafood, and Hampidjan to develop the first circular farming nets using recycled nylon from used nets, fishing gear, and other nylon products. This initiative creates a more environmentally friendly aquaculture industry.

“AKVA group Egersund Net will produce netting based on regenerated nylon and test its quality in the laboratory. The testing includes measures such as tensile strength, elasticity, durability, shrinkage, and the effects of anti-fouling. Additionally, it will involve the production of full-scale nets,” says Karen Kvalheim, the Innovation Manager for Research at AKVA group in Egersund.

A Circular Future

For AKVA group to succeed in producing recycled nets, they rely on multiple collaborative actors within a complex value chain.

"Our advantage is that we have had this collaboration for many years, which puts us in a position to succeed. We are also a significant player in the net market, so if we succeed, it will make a significant contribution to making the entire aquaculture industry more sustainable and circular in the future. It will also reinforce AKVA group's reputation as a forward-thinking and innovative player in the market," she says.

AKVA group Egersund NetIn the production facility of AKVA group Egersund Net, mainly nylon netting but also a smaller proportion of UHMWPE netting is produced (photo: AKVA group).

Plastic Responsibility

The goal of producing circular nets is to offer more environmentally friendly products to the aquaculture industry. As a producer of plastic components, AKVA group has a responsibility to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated through production. At the same time, there are increasing demands from organizations and the general public for the use of more environmentally friendly alternatives.

"The EU Plastic Directive holds us, as plastic component producers, responsible for reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions," says Kvalheim.

The collaboration project officially started on 1 June, with high expectations of achieving a sustainable and circular future for the aquaculture industry. The project is planned to run until June 2025.

The project receives support from the Handelens Miljøfond (Trade's Environmental Fund). Additionally, AKVA group receives support from SkatteFUNN for the project "Circular Net Construction," which involves both regenerated nylon netting and recycled ropes.

About the Project Participants

AKVA group is an international technology company that provides solutions and services to the aquaculture industry. They offer a wide range of products and services covering various aspects of aquaculture, including control systems, feeding systems, monitoring and control of water quality, as well as solutions for wastewater treatment and waste management.

Nofir collects discarded fishing gear from the fishing and aquaculture industry worldwide. The end product is used as raw material for the recycling industry, transforming it into various different products.

Aquafil Group is a global company specializing in the production of synthetic fibers and polymers. The company is known for its expertise in recycling and transforming recycled materials, particularly nylon.

Grieg Seafood is an international salmon farming company. Founded in 1992, it is headquartered in Bergen, Norway. Grieg Seafood operates in Norway, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and is one of the leading players in the salmon farming industry.

Hampidjan manufactures fishing gear, ropes, and fishing lines for the local fishing barge in Iceland.