Sunday, November 2, 2014

MCAF project gets big investment from Patagonia

Thanks to the efforts of three conservation entrepreneurs, a Minnow may help save the ocean. In this case, the Minnow is a fish-shaped skateboard made from recycled fishing nets by Bureo Skateboards.

The Minnow, as seen on the Bureo website

The Bureo team, David Stover, Ben Kneppers and Kevin Ahearn started this project in Chile to keep derelict or discarded fishing nets out of the water where they could entangle and kill countless marine animals. Instead of becoming deadly drifters in the ocean, these retired nets are being turned into a great new product, the profits of which can sustain the recycling program over the long term and raise awareness of marine debris worldwide.

The Net Positiva team observes artisanal fishermen at work off the coast of Concepcion, Chile. The team’s net collection and recycling program will help to keep large nets such as these from being discarded into the ocean. Photo: Kevin Ahearn

The New England Aquarium is proud to have helped launch this project with support from its Marine Conservation Action Fund and is thrilled to see that the huge success of Bureo’s “Net Positiva” program has now attracted a seed investment from Patagonia.

“Bureo is not your typical startup – they’ve invented an incredible recycling program by rallying the fishing industry in Chile to turn plastic ocean waste into a great product,” said Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario. “We’re investing in Bureo’s vision to scale their business to a global level and make a serious dent in the amount of plastic that gets thrown away in our oceans.”

Patagonia’s investment comes through its $20 Million & Change fund, which they launched in 2013 to help innovative, like-minded startups bring about solutions to the environmental crisis and other positive change through business. Or, in other words, to help entrepreneurs and innovators succeed in “working with nature rather than using it up.” Read more in Patagonia's media release.

Here's the Bureo Team with some quick thanks for the Aquarium’s support getting their project off the ground:

Congratulations to the Bureo Team on their well deserved recognition and support from Patagonia. We are looking forward to seeing this great idea spread across the globe!

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