Last year we collected over 70.000 kilograms of waste fishing nets in the North Sea region with the help of divers, a salvage company and fishermen. This year’s diving season started recently, and already we had very succesfull diving actions. Last weekend no less than two clean-up missions took place parallel at the Dutch North Sea, resulting in more than 2,5 tons of discarded fishing gear.

A charter boat with ten volunteer divers left Scheveningen harbor on Saturday 25 June for a one-day clean-up dive, while a salvage vessel with Healthy Seas divers on board departed from Stellendam on that same day for a two-day intensive cleaning mission. The two groups of divers together with our partner, salvage company Pan Salvage, cleaned up several shipwrecks during the weekend.

The salvage team visited the Tubantia, a Dutch passenger ship that sunk exactly 100 years ago, and just within 2.5 hours 42 kg of lost recreational fishing gear and an approximately half a kilometer long gill net was brought up.

The diving team went back to the shipwreck named “Rode Poon” (Red Gurnard) and removed a huge amount of lost recreational and commercial fishing gear by hand. This specific wreck has been cleaned up already several times in the last few years but newly lost recreational fishing gear and mainly gill nets are found again every time they visit it.

These combined efforts resulted in an effective sea clean-up at the North Sea last weekend, and created a lot of enthusiasm and support to continue this great work. There is a lot to do still, more clean-up actions to come and many more marine animals to be saved!

Photos: © Cor Kuyvenhoven and Pascal van Erp