Danajon Bank in the Philippines, a biodiverse region that’s home to nearly 200 threatened species, is one of only six double barrier reefs in the world. But the coral reefs have taken a hit from unsustainable fishing practices and “ghost fishing,” a phenomenon in which discarded nets entangle—and kill—sea turtles, fish, and other marine life. In a bid to keep these old nets out of the water, the Zoological Society of London and carpet-tile manufacturer Interface have founded a project called Net-Works. The project pays into local community banks for the used nets, which Interface then recycles into carpet tiles. Two and a half kilograms of nets earns enough to buy one kilogram of rice. So far 8,850 kg of nets have been collected from 26 villages in the Danajon Bank region. Furthermore, Interface has an ecologically and socially responsible source for nylon to use in its new Net Effect carpet. After all, the material goes much better on the living room floor than on the sea floor.
A new study on the topic uncovered some surprises, such as the leading role of flightless mammals in spreading rainforest seeds.