Deadly ‘ghost’ fishing gear removed from shipwreck off Brighton coast
ALMOST 200 kg of deadly fishing gear have been recovered from the seabed off the coast of Brighton.
Divers have reported discarded fishing nets found on a wreck, which can harm marine life and lead to more plastic pollution.
Known as “ghost gear,” lost or abandoned nets and pots mean animals can be trapped and serve as bait for other creatures, resulting in an “uninterrupted cycle of unnecessary deaths,” according to Ghost Fishing. UK.
The charity aims to prevent “ghost fishing” and has partnered with the Sussex Wildlife Trust to remove ghost gear from the area, as part of the Wild Coast Sussex Project.
Volunteer divers collected the net, which is now stored at Brighton Marina for recycling.
This is the team’s second mission to Sussex this year, following several reports of lost nets fouling wrecks in the area, endangering not only the divers themselves, but wildlife as well. along the coast.
Divers were able to recover 275 kg of lost nets in just three dives, working in 18 meters of water.
Nikki Hills, Project Manager for the Wild Coast Sussex Program, said: âIt is so important to remove this net because if left, it can trap valuable marine life and add to plastic in the sea.
âIt was fantastic to join the Ghost Fishing UK team on a trip to retrieve ghost nets and see first-hand the dedicated work of the divers and the amount of nets they managed to remove.
“The Wild Coast Sussex Project is really excited to support the work of Ghost Fishing UK and it’s great to have them in Sussex.”
The net was recovered from the SS Pentyrch, a steam freighter that torpedoed in 1918.
As much of the wreckage still protrudes from the seabed, fishing nets can snag and continue to trap fish until they can be removed.
Trustee and Underwater Photographer for Ghost Fishing UK, Christine Grosart said: âWe are very grateful for the reports from the divers on these nets.
âWe are also very keen to work with the fishing industry to recoup these unfortunate, unintentional losses out of the sea.
“We urge fishermen to tell us if they have lost any traps or nets so that we can see if it is possible for us to remove them and then recycle them, or in some cases return them, keeping them out of the way. the ocean forever.
âWe are soon launching a dedicated reporting system for fishermen so they can confidently report losses to us. ”
For more information visit www.ghostfishing.co.uk.