The diving volunteers have once again gone to work. No doubt we are all aware that the seas and oceans are full of deadly ghost nets. Fortunately, thanks to the efforts and efforts of Ghost Diving and Healthy Seas, divers are systematically cleaning up more areas.
The new project kicked off on 15 January during the first sea clean-up by volunteers in 2022. Team Ghost Divers from the Netherlands, Croatia and Italy collected samples and recorded underwater footage. Now scientists at Wageningen University & Research will analyse it from a material and environmental point of view.
The first activity of our scientific project to understand the source of ghost networks took place last weekend. Ghost Diving volunteers collected samples that will be assessed from both a material and environmental perspective by scientists from Wageningen University & Research – reads the summary of the whole action.
Volunteer divers from the Netherlands, Croatia and Italy were joined by marine biologists and fisheries scientists, among others. As well as carrying out research tasks, they also helped to remove ghost nets. As a result, the group managed to remove 500 metres of gillnets from the seabed.
Globally, an estimated 640 000 tonnes of abandoned fishing gear. A significant proportion of this is fishing nets, which turn into ghost nets once they hit the water. As they are mostly made of plastic, it takes hundreds of years for them to decompose.
This has resulted in an increasing accumulation of ghost n ets in the marine environment. Many of these nets are still used to catch and kill fish and other marine creatures, but this is done in a completely uncontrolled way. Often, the victims of ghost nets are endangered species or vital links in local ecosystems. Therefore, they often have a devastating effect on the environment.
Volunteers Ghost Diving Foundation have been involved in recovering lost fishing gear in the North and Adriatic Seas for many years. In these heavily overfished waters, divers encounter lost or abandoned fishing gear on almost every object they dive (wrecks, lost cargo, or reefs).
The authors will publish the results of the pilot phase of the scientific project in late 2022.
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