Gaia Biomaterials AB

Background Information

GAIA Biomaterials, in collaboration with South African-based Catchgreen, Kompost-it, FishSA, and Alnet, are replacing harmful polyethene fishing nets with biodegradable nets, engineered to match the performance of conventional fishing nets, but if lost or dumped, these nest will disintegrate into biomass without any toxins or micro-plastics.

The project addresses the replacement of Polyethylene fishing nets with biodegradable and compostable nets made in an innovative application of Biodolomer®. Plastic pollution, due to lost or discarded fishing nets, is one of the most significant plastic pollutants in the ocean. It is estimated that 90 million tons of plastic waste from fishing nets is generated each year. If fully implemented worldwide, replacing plastic materials in fishing nests with Biodolomer® and other biodegradable materials, these fishnets could potentially remove approximately 10 million tons of waste from landfills and the sea. Through technological innovation, awareness-raising, and policy development, the project allows the fishing industry to rebalance its relationship to the ocean and promote an environmentally sustainable fishing industry.


The team recently completed their first manufacturing trials at Altnet in South Africa, which was important to understand how the Biodolomer® behaves under certain variable settings (temperature, processing speed, pressure).  The performance of the biodegradable material lived up to expectations at this stage of the project.

Next, the team is piloting the use of the material as ropes and fishing nets in realtime context in South Africa and Kenya. Representatives from SMEP and the Catchgreen project traveled to Kenya in September to observe the piloting of the biodegradable compostable gill net nets, and ropes for the seaweed farming as well as in a coral restoration project. Read more here about this remarkable collaboration.

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March 2022 – March 2026



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