‘Fishing for Litter’ expanded with funding from Ocyan

A Brazilian energy company with sustainable attitude has partnered with BVRio to support waste collection by fishers in Guanabara Bay.

BVRio’s ‘Fishing for Litter’ project, which sees urban waste collected by artisan fishers, is expanding operations in the port area of Rio de Janeiro with support from Ocyan, an energy company in Brazil and abroad. The company will finance the collection of waste by approximately 20 fishers from two fishing villages in Guanabara Bay, specifically Caju and Ilha do Governador, for two days a week. The goal is to remove 100 tonnes of solid waste over the next 12 months in a campaign they have titled “Clean Bay.”

“The support for the ‘Fishing for Litter’ project reinforces Ocyan’s commitment to advancing environmental and climate proactive actions. Our headquarters in Rio de Janeiro are located on the shores of Guanabara Bay. We can see the bay and various boats docked from the office windows. It is a valuable asset for Rio de Janeiro, and there is much to be done for its complete clean-up, which requires a collective effort. Ocyan is committing to this movement.” commented André Luiz Barros, Manager of Communication, Social Responsibility, and Diversity at Ocyan. 

The partnership contributes to the artisanal fishing industry in the region, strengthening the fishing community, supporting species regeneration and allowing fishers to remain at sea. Participation in the project forms part of Ocyan’s Socioenvironmental Responsibility focus, and the partnership with BVRio is one of the new initiatives the company envisions for the coming years. It represents an engagement with social action, as Ocyan is now financially supporting and encouraging local fishing communities. André stated, “We are shaping projects that involve social, environmental, education, and diversity aspects. These combined agendas have significant transformative potential.” 

Working with the fishers, BVRio will record the materials collected through the waste management app KOLEKT, and will be responsible for the correct disposal of waste, as well as providing data on the quantity and identification of materials. Through the app, it is possible to efficiently monitor the operations and certify the recovery of waste with the potential for recycling. The collected material will be delivered for sorting at Ilha do Fundão in Rio de Janeiro.

“In less than two years of the project, we have removed over 200 tonnes of waste from the Bay, and in this short period, fishers have already reported an increase in the number and size of crabs in the mangroves. Ocyan’s support to expand ‘Fishing for Litter’  is crucial for us to amplify its environmental and social impacts.” said Pedro Succar, Circular Economy Specialist at BVRio.

Speaking about her participation in the project, Gileuda Silva Barbosa, an artisanal fisherwoman on Ilha do Fundão, said, “I am very happy and would like to thank for the opportunity to be part of this project, which is a great help to our life. Like me, my fellow fishers share the same complaint: floating waste. Most of the time, when we cast our nets, we don’t catch fish; the net comes up filled with trash. During this period when fishing is poor, being part of this project is wonderful because it generates income for us and sustains our livelihood.”