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Dyneema based nets - cost savings solution for fishing industry
22
Nov '10
A study recently completed among the commercial fishing community has yielded clear proof that nets made with Dyneema ultra-strong lightweight fiber yield major cost savings for fishermen through reductions in fuel usage, and make an important contribution to the sustainability of the fishing industry through reduced emissions of carbon dioxide.

Dyneema, an ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber, is manufactured by DSM Dyneema. The company has made sustainability a keystone of its corporate strategy. “We view our sustainability efforts across three key dimensions, People, Planet and Profit.” says André van Wageningen, Global Marketing Manager for Commercial fishing at DSM Dyneema. “We are continually asking ourselves: how can we improve the quality of life of our clients and their customers? How can we reduce our environmental impact and contribute to sustainable business and manufacturing processes? And how can we ensure DSM Dyneema and our customers will have the financial resources to continue this important work well into the future?”

The commercial fishing industry is a key market for the company. Dyneema fiber enables fishermen to use nets with thinner twines and ropes that are less bulky than more traditional materials, without sacrificing performance. The lower weight and smaller diameter of the equipment, result in lower drag that they create in the water, enabling fishermen to make significant fuel savings.

“People have been saying for a long time that the Dyneema fiber has major advantages over steel wire and other synthetic fibers in netting and rope,” says van Wageningen. “But we wanted to look at the entire value chain and also needed market data from a respected independent source to conclusively confirm our own beliefs. This is what we now have.”

DSM Dyneema commissioned Triple Value, a specialist sustainability consultancy, to quantify the impact of the use of Dyneema fiber all along the value chain in the commercial fishing industry. The study focused mainly on wild catch in pelagic zones. Two case studies of boats fishing in the North and North-East Atlantic for herring and mackerel were developed and extensive interviews and research carried out.

The study came up with several important conclusions. The most important one was a clear confirmation that by switching to Dyneema fiber, less fuel is used and the reduction in resulting carbon dioxide emissions from a vessel over the course of one year is substantial – in one case approximately equivalent to the emissions of 100 cars in the same period.

“Everybody is talking about carbon footprints these days,” says van Wageningen. “Trawler owners attach a lot of importance to the investment cost of their nets and ropes, and their cost in use. This study demonstrates that the money they can save in reduced fuel bills by using nets and ropes with Dyneema, the low maintenance cost together with the environmental benefits, easily make up for the higher up-front investment.”

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