Big Blue Foundation and Waterhaul have formed a partnership to launch SeaCare, a programme that will provide essential eye health services to artisanal fishermen in Cabo Verde, members of the Guardians of the Sea network. These fishermen are subject to unique health risks caused by prolonged exposure to direct sunlight while at sea. The primary goals of the project are to address eye health issues and enable the fishermen to find a positive use for their end-of-life fishing gear by recycling it into polarised sunglasses. This will be achieved by conducting free eye-care clinics to the Guardians of the Sea, carried out by a team of Cabo Verdean and UK Opthamologists.

End-of-life fishing gear collected from the islands of Sal, Maoi and Boa Vista will be repurposed by Waterhaul to produce durable and functional eyewear. This contributes to the preservation of the marine environment by reducing waste and will provide up to 100 Guardians of the Sea with a tangible benefit in the form of prescription eyewear and sunglasses. This recycled eyewear will serve a dual purpose – protecting their eyes from the harsh sun and contributing to a more sustainable approach to eyewear production.

The SeaCare Project focuses on immediate eye health and addresses environmental and social sustainability, creating a holistic and innovative approach to improving the well-being of Cabo Verde’s fishing community.