PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – When the Portland Thorns send the ball flying through the goal during the Women’s International Champions Cup, they won’t be kicking the ball into any ordinary soccer net.
The nets for the tournament at Providence Park were provided by Pacific Seafood and are actually used to catch fish in the ocean in the Pacific Northwest.
Headquartered in Clackamas, Pacific Seafood saw the tournament as an opportunity to educate soccer fans on the company’s sustainable fishing practices. The handcrafted nets are produced on the Oregon coast and are specially designed to only catch targeted species like rockfish, sole and black cod.
The openings in the net are a specific size and shape that prevents the fishing company from accidentally catching other types of fish or marine life, or fish that are too small.
“At Pacific Seafood we are committed to ensuring wild stocks are sustainable and available for generations to come,” Lacy Ogan, director of communications, told KOIN News.
The company tries to reduce bycatch, minimize disruption to the surrounding marine environment, and will only fish up to a certain quota.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirms it inspects Pacific Seafood’s gear from time to time. It said the company participates in Oregon’s shrimp fishery, which is a certified sustainable fishery.
All the vessels in the fleet comply to the same gear, which include required innovations that ODFW said brings bycatch down to a very low level — less than 5% of the total catch. Pacific Seafood also uses LED lighting to reduce its bycatch, ODFW said.
During the Women’s International Champions Cup at Providence Park, Pacific Seafood will have its nets on display outside the field. Fans can see the netting up close and learn more about where they’re created. Kids can even try kicking a soccer ball into a smaller version of the nets that are on the field.
The tournament finals doubleheader takes place on Aug. 20. The Thorns play Chelsea FC at 5 p.m. Olympique Lyonnais plays C.F. Monterrey at 8 p.m.