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Chiara Ho, WCA Intern

15/07/2016: My second week at my UK internship with the WCA


Hello everybody,

I am Chiara, 20 years old and from Germany. I was a member of the ‘net effect’ campaign for three weeks, but unfortunately I have to go back to Germany soon; this means I will be missing March of the Mermaids. But this article is not about me, rather about my second week with the WCA. At the end of week two we have quite a long list of achievements!

The week started with a sluggish Monday. At the morning meeting we created the weeks “to do” list and started work. Amanda, a fellow WCA colleague, finally managed to get insurance for the DragNet Challenge (which was a challenge in itself!) where the other interns will pull 1.2 tonnes of fishing gear in the sea from one pier to the other. We also activated a fundraising website with the goal of raising £2000 for the campaign. In the first week we managed to raise £125 already!

The biggest result from the week is the finished Netty the Net story. The cartoon video will be used on wha;e watching boats to raise awareness of ghost fishing gear to children. I think finishing Netty was a big step for us because it took so much time, especially a big well done to Emma Brown and Kevin Bennett.

Meanwhile the other interns have been working on many different things. Some of us worked on the social media stuff to get more attention from the public about the work we are doing. We also created some hashtags and you can find our posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The hashtags are #neteffect #wildandfree and #worldcetaceanalliance. To complete this we created a logo for the Net Effect Campaign.

On Wednesday afternoon we made a trip to MCB Seafood’s Ltd in Newhaven. MCB Seafood’s is a family run business and they support local fishermen by buying their fish. These fishermen are acting ethically and responsibly with our shared marine resources. As part of the GGGI, MCB Seafood’s have started a recycling scheme for end of life fishing gear. All of this stuff is saved from landfill and will instead be used to make upcycled products like socks, skateboards, and sunglasses. We saw lots of fishing gear that they saved in the harbour and we took as much as we could back with us to use for the DragNet challenge. They also showed us their production hall and the fresh fish in the warehouse.

On Thursday, Claire Potter, an artist and designer from Brighton came to visit us. She creates interesting and sustainable design solutions and works in the spheres of interior architecture, landscape design, events and product design. When she came to the WCA office I was impressed with all her ideas about how we can up-cycle fishing gear. Mainly she taught us a really simple way to make bracelets through finger knitting. Creating crafts is, in my opinion, is the easiest way to create something using old fishing gear.

Besides this, Dylan, Celine and Sophia created our project vision and mission statements for the Net Effect Campaign and the GGGI. We want everyone to understand what we’re doing and I think the wording is clear and easy to understand.

Vision: An ocean free of ghost gear. A world where entanglement of marine wildlife is reduced and end of life gear is valued by fishers, recyclers and consumers.

Mission: The WCA will inspire and encourage the recycling of end of life gear that highlights the impact of entanglement on marine wildlife by:

  1. CREATING a market for fishers, recyclers and consumers.
  2. REDUCING the need to dispose of unwanted fishing gear.
  3. PROVIDING  a value for a previously worthless product.
  4. PROMOTING the removal of lost gear from beaches and the sea.

And that’s it!

The second week was another exciting week with the WCA. I really enjoy being here working with these great people, on this great campaign, in this great office. I hope we can continue to make progress.

Thanks for reading!



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