A stickbait that biodegrades in seawater and a 100% recyclable rod are proof of a deep seriousness about the environment, says Fiiish in the Angling International Green Issue. It’s a commitment that extends to working with non-angling partners to push more boundaries.
Actions speak louder than words, says Fiiish. While many in the industry are paying little more than lip-service to sustainability, the Brittany business has fundamentally changed the way it works to minimise its environmental footprint. Its commitment goes deep. From the choice of raw materials to working practices, everything has been considered and acted upon. Even the relocation of production facilities is being explored.
The company calls its new way of working ‘Eco Design’ and after three years it is close to producing tangible results. A biodegradable surface fishing lure is in the latter stages of testing. And if attempts to develop a recyclable fishing rod are successful, it will be a world first. Updating Angling International on the two groundbreaking developments, Project Manager Louis Leveuf said: “The BioTop Stick is a stickbait-type surface lure. It is made from a bio-sourced material that is known to be biodegradable in seawater and has a very low eco-toxicity impact.
“We have now obtained co-financing from the BPI (a public investment bank) in the Brittany region which has allowed us to carry out laboratory tests to fully analyse the environmental impact of the product and to resolve some outstanding technical manufacturing difficulties. We are currently testing the lure in fishing conditions, ageing in a marine environment and completing laboratory experiments. All the results are very promising. Some validation is still required, but we strongly hope the BioTop Stick will soon be available to anglers.”
The Gwallen Du project, which aims to develop 100% recyclable fishing rods, along with masts for windsurfing and dinghy sailing, is also progressing. The focus of the work, which is being subsidised by the Brittany Region Lorient Agglomeration and the Brest Métropole (both parts of the French governmental structure), is on creating recycled materials with mechanical properties similar to those of good quality raw materials. This process has already been validated and its implementation is a big step towards the final objective.
“There are still some obstacles to overcome, but we will be fishing with the prototypes very soon. We are confident we are on the right track,” says Leveuf.
Fiiish has learned many things on the path to an eco-design strategy, but none has proved more important than the strength of networking, says Leveuf. “If there is one point to underline it is that the way forward is collaborative working. To respond to and solve a particular problem it is necessary to have the support of other parties.
“In Brittany there are many companies in different market sectors working on similar issues. In addition to our internal resources, the synergy with other players and their teams has helped us to be stronger in our research and more powerful in our product development.”