What happens to lost fishing nets?

What happens to lost fishing nets?

What happens to lost fishing nets?

Real Heroes Don’t Wear Capes - Non Plastic Beach has worked with Ghost Fishing UK for about nine months now and we are constantly impressed by the big impact this team of volunteers has on the most dangerous form of plastic pollution, ghost nets. These drysuit clad heroes of the deep have been tirelessly collecting wildlife threatening ghost gear all around the UK, saving various marine creatures from becoming entangled.

Cooperation the Fishing Industry

Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been snagged on wrecks or rocks and cannot be released by the boat. In rare cases, they are discarded by boats because they are too damaged to use and end up floating around, continuing to catch fish, marine mammals and sea birds for years and years. But we must state, we are not looking to vilify fishermen, and nor are Ghost Fishing UK, they actively work with fishermen to recover nets and sometimes they can go back into use.

Ghost Net Recovery

So how does it work? Well Ghost Fishing UK was founded in 2016 by a group of highly qualified and experienced divers, who were inspired by the Dutch Ghost Fishing organization, founded by Pascal van Erp. The volunteer run, charity group started with the recovery of nets, lobster pots and ropes from various wrecks and has now progressed into training experienced divers to safely recover lost fishing gear.

Becoming a Ghost Gear Recovery Diver

Recovering fishing gear is obviously not for new divers, with low visibility, currents and the risk of entanglement meaning it requires a extensive experience before undertaking a course. Fortunately the Ghost Fishing UK team are a hugely experienced group of divers, with a very strong focus on professionalism and safety, despite their unpaid status. For this reason, Ghost Fishing UK have a selection process for courses and joining recovery dives.

Ghost Fishing UK runs ad hoc courses for divers who wish to get involved. Interested divers are selected based on level of engagement with the organisation, level of diving experience, sensible attitude and dedication to conservation.

As a minimum, requirements to join a course are:

– Minimum SCUBA qualification: Sports Diver/Rescue Diver or equivalent.
– Nitrox Certification.
– Minimum 100 logged dives.
– Training or minimum 25 dives in a manifolded twinset.
– Minimum 25 dives in a drysuit.
– At least 20 logged dives to have been undertaken in the year preceding the course start date.

How to Report Ghost Nets?

Finding the gear to recover is obviously important and a vital part of ridding the ocean of this menace. The charity find out about lost gear through working with fishermen who have lost fishing nets, lobster pots or creels and through their online reporting form (click here).

If you want to get involved with Ghost Fishing UK or support their work in some way, then go to https://www.ghostfishing.org/uk/

Ghost Fishing UK Winter Warmer Event Featured Talks, Training and Sales of products, including Non Plastic Beach to raise funds.

Ghost Fishing UK Recovering Lost Fishing Nets in Plymouth UK


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