Week 283 (16 - 22 March 2019)
When suggesting eco-warriors responsible for cleaning our oceans from dangerous waste, the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) may not be a name that immediately springs to mind!
However the FIVB this week teamed up with marine conservation group Ghost Fishing Foundation (Ghost Fishing) to launch Good Net, a project designed to recover discarded fishing nets from the world’s oceans and recycle them into volleyball nets for community use.
Sustainability is an ever-increasing focus for all International Federations, and as one of the three pillars of Olympic Agenda 2020, ensuring sustainable events has become an important priority. The FIVB’s Good Net project is not only raising money to support Ghost Fishing, but also raising awareness of the issue.
“As divers, we care deeply about the oceans,” said Ghost Fishing CEO Pascal van Erp. “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.”
“With hundreds of millions of players and fans around the world, and as a sport that is played in so many of the world’s iconic locations, we’re really excited to see how teaming up with volleyball can help us raise awareness, raise nets from the oceans and return them to the supply chain.”
Launched on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, the home of beach volleyball, young people from the local area were invited to take part in volleyball masterclasses with Brazilian Olympic champion Giba, as well as a number of other volleyball stars. Children also learned more about the problem of ghost nets.
Every year, 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear finds its way into the oceans, where it continues to trap marine wildlife. Good Net aims to raise global awareness of the problem while also contributing to the solution.
“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,” Giba said 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’ Clean Seas Campaign, which has the full support of the International Olympic Committee, and the rescued nets will on show at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals in Rome later this year.
For its commitment to protecting the world’s natural sports arenas, the FIVB’s Good Net project is JTA Communicator of the Week. For more information or to donate to the Good Net project, please visit: https://goodnetproject.com/EN
Photo: Richard Herrmann and Minden Pictures