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Motivated by doing good in Suba

By Rosemarie Apurado |

Once the waste fishing nets are collected from the communities we work with, they are taken to a collection hub for baling and storing.

We are always looking to collect enough for another large 40” high-capacity container, which represents another 10T of waste nets turned into savings through our community banks. For the Danajon Bank, this collection hub is the ZSL Staff-House in Suba.

The next phase of our community-based supply chain sees them loaded on to “pumpboats”, for shipping to Cebu and then on to our partner Aquafil.  The loading of the pumpboats provides an opportunity for the members of the local community to earn some additional income as net loaders… it’s pretty tough work.

Recently, I was at the ZSL staff-house in Suba (Danajon Bank, Bohol) overseeing the loading of the nets from our hub to the pumpboat, when I noticed the porters and pumpboat operators were quicker and more efficient in terms of hauling the nets from the hub to the pumpboats.

This was despite it being low tide and the roots of the mangroves making the work harder – at 40kg each of the bales are heavy and mangrove roots can tangle-up your feet. But it seemed that, for some reason it had become so easy for them.

So then I teased some of them, I said, “Wow you are so quick huh?! So you will be earning for this shipment in less time, as you are so efficient now!”.

The operator and porter called back “it’s a good feeling that we can help knowing that these discarded nets are being collected and sent to somewhere else to be recycled – that by helping we are having a positive impact”.

I was surprised. This was not what I expected – because I thought the ease and speed was just about them were getting used to it and wanting to get the money sooner.

It was really good to realise that the net loaders are doing it for more than just the money, even though the work is hard,  they have a realisation that the Net-Works project is about doing some good and these nets are being used instead of wasted.

Want to know more about how the nets are baled, check out Under pressure: baling nets without electricity

Rosemarie Apurado is Sustainable Business Operations Officer at ZSL Philippines

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