Collaborative projects focus: INdiGO Project

The INdIGO project (INnovative fIshing Gear for Ocean) has been selected by the Interreg VA France (Channel) England (FCE) European Programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The project involves a total budget of €4.2 million (including 2.9 million ERDF) and is planned for completion in June 2023. The goal is to reduce the total quantity of plastic present in the FCE area by 3% through the development of biodegradable fishing gear, so contributing to improve water quality and maintain biodiversity.

In this context, six research institutes (Universities of South Brittany, Plymouth and Portsmouth, IFREMER, CEFAS and SMEL) and four private partners (NaturePlast, Filt, IRMA and Marine South East) will collaborate in order to ensure the development and adoption of the new biodegradable fishing gear by professionals. The main output is to validate the proof of concept of a resistant fishing gear with a controlled lifespan. End users will be engaged from the early stages to guarantee that the product meets the needs.

INdIGO Project: promote the prevention

Indigo project

INdIGO will work to improve the prevention and management of pollution generated by machinery, by identifying existing recycling channels and developing an application to locate fishing gear already lost.

INdIGO project will cover the production chain of the fishing gear from formulation, filament manufacturing to prototype net development. The deployment of the net at sea, durability tests, technical and economic analysis will then be undertaken. A life cycle analysis will be completed to avoid pollution transfer.

The involvement of SMEs will ensure the economic sustainability of the project by exploiting the results of the project. This expertise of the sector will enable INdIGO to develop products that are adapted to the needs of the market and competitive with current alternatives, while reducing their impact on the environment.

Encouraging work

After leading the redaction of the requirements specifications, NaturePlast has produced the first materials at the beginning of March 2021. A part of the production will be used for characterization at BiopolyNov and the other part will be sent at the partner UBS (University of South Brittany) in order to produce filament. The objective is to obtain a biodegradable material in sea water.

Indigo project

Depending on its ability to biodegrade, the material will be used either for the production of fish nets or for the production of mussel culture nets. NaturePlast will also participate to the study of aging of these materials through the redaction of the test protocol and analysis of the results.

In parallel with these technical trials, Ifremer has launched a public research program aiming to collect information on plastic wastes linked to fishing gear, both found at sea and on the seashore. This application, available to all, either we are a walker, diver, boater or fisherman, has thus the objective to collect data on abandoned, lost and discarded fishing equipments.

The protocol is very easy, you just need to use the public research programme “Fish & Click” and to enquire the type of gear found, its quantity and location and take a picture of it. In order to participate and to help the project to collect a maximum of information, you can find here all the indications: https://fishandclick.ifremer.fr/s

You can find the latest information about the project as well as the newsletter thanks to the following link: https://www.marinesoutheast.co.uk/indigo/

About us: NaturePlast is a french company based in Normandy (IFS-14), specialized in bioplastics. With more than 14 years of experience in this field, the company has the most extensive portfolio of raw materials and biobased and/or biodegradable compounds in Europe. With its daughter company BiopolyNov, they provide support to industrialists from the origin to the industrialisation of their innovative project. Thanks to their R&D expertise acquired during the years, NaturePlast and BiopolyNov are renowned major player in the development and production of formulations for clients and collaborative projects.