In the past year, DWS has been supporting Healthy Seas in tackling the ghost fishing phenomenon in various ways, including organizing campaigns, recovery missions, and donations. The impact has been tremendous but we want to take it one step further – that’s why we made a one-time sizable donation to Healthy Seas so they can purchase their first official recovery boat.
The boat MAKO will not only empower Healthy Seas to become more efficient and significantly increase the number of recovery missions, but also serve as the cornerstone for the organization to raise more awareness and expand the operations aggressively. The goal is to stop the phenomenon from staying under water and bring this silent killing to the surface.
During the salvage mission on 20.09.2020 a total of approx. 200 meters of longlines, 200 meters of gill nets and a cage could be salvaged. Involved were five volunteer divers from Ghost Diving Adriatic, as well as a 23 year old student, who is cycling through Europe to raise awareness of environmental projects.
Between July 22nd and 26th, a team of six specifically trained volunteer technical divers from Ghost Diving, who have long been allured by the mystery and historical value of the wreck, finally made it their mission to dive at the HMS Perseus to remove the fishing gear that was covering the submarine. The wreck of the British submarine HMS Perseus lies at 52 meters depth in the area between the islands of Kefalonia and Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea, in Greece.
On 18.-19. July 2020 near Ravni, Skvaranska and Ubac (Croatia) a team of twelve volunteer divers of „Ghost Diving Adria“ und „Ghost Diving Poland“ recovered 100 meters longlines and 600 meters gill nets.
A team of ten volunteer divers of „Ghost Diving“ recovered hundreds of meters of twisted gill nets (combined with parts of trawler nets) from a depth of 27 meters in the Dutch North Sea at the wreck of the “S.S. Trevier”.
During the three days mission near Borkum and Norderney Islands a total of 160kg of trawler nets was recovered. The team of seven volunteer divers of „Wrackduikteam Zeester“ also revisited the wrack of “Mainz”.
A team of eight volunteer divers of „Wrakduikteam Zeester” recovered approx. 70kg trawler nets from the wreck of „E16” in the North Sea, above Helgoland Island on 27. June. They had good conditions with 8 meters visibility.
On 26. June 2020 a team of eight volunteer divers of „Wrakduikteam Zeester” recovered approx. 60kg trawler nets from the depth of 35 meters near the wreck of “Mainz” (North Sea). Unfortunately there is still a lot more left to be recovered in future missions.
On 20./21. June an international team of 14 divers from 4 different European countries (Netherlands, Croatia, Italy and Austria) from “Ghost Diving” and “Ghost Diving Adriatic” recovered approx. 1 ton of grill nets and three lobster cages during three cleanup dives.
The „Dutch Ghost Diving Team“ consisting of 13 divers was able to recover 200kg trawler nets from the wrecks of E3 and SS Trevier in the Dutch North Sea. In addition they were able to rescue several crabs during the two cleanup dives.
A team of eight divers from „ Wrakduikteam Zeester” was able to recover approx. 220kg trawler nets from a depth of 5-28 meters in the dutch north sea. The 2-days mission on 13./14.6. took place at the wrecks of Vogtland and E3 and the team was able to rescue several crabs.
The dive took place on 23./24. May in Krnica, Kroatien under mixed weather conditions at 32 meters depth. Five Croatan divers supported by three volunteers recovered 200 meters gillnet from an ancient Roman shipwreck from 2nd century.
The first diving activity after the lockdown took place on 16 and 17 May in Alephochori, Greece. A team of five divers from Greece supported by two support volunteers recovered 100 meter of longlines during the two days trip from a depth of 45 meter and encountered a dead lobster. Weather conditions were almost perfect on a nice and sunny day with calm sea.
Another milestone in DWS salvage missions: On 22 and 23 February this year, a total of 150 metres of longlines and around 100 kilos of gill nets were retrieved from the sea in Krnica (Croatia). Beautiful and sunny days ensured a calm sea - so the 12 divers from Italy were able to dive to a depth of 33 meters to free the sea from ghost nets.
In January and February 2020, Healthy Seas carried out a 3-week long programme at Al Andalous school in Venlo in the Netherlands.
Through presentations, art works and interactive games, we aimed at educating the children about plastic pollution, ghost nets and the threats that they present to many animals. Volunteer divers were also there to show off their gear and inspire the next generation of ocean rescuers! Nearly 200 little students took part in the programme.
Good quality equipment is always very important for success. In case of technical divers, it is essential also for safety, since removing big piles of ghost nets from the sea can be dangerous and risky if they are not properly trained or don’t have the right equipment. With our support, Healthy Seas bought 70 brand new lift bags for their Ghost fishing Initiative, a very important equipment for divers to lift heavy nets. One lift bag can lift up around 100 kgs of fishing nets or other marine litter and can be used for several diving seasons. So we are looking forward to a big catch this year!