The bad storms that hit the North Sea this winter had an impact not only on people living in the UK and the Netherlands but also on the environment and biodiversity. The North Sea, in general, is characterised by its strong currents and frequent storms, resulting in frequent gear loss. Hence, we were not surprised to learn of many recent incidents of animals found entangled in ghost nets, nor to discover big piles of them, washed ashore. The journey for the nets in the photos ends here but unfortunately there are a lot more where they came from.
Bad weather is not only an issue in the North Sea. During a diving project in Lipari in 2018, an island off the Southern Coast of Italy, we were tipped by the locals about a big fish farming net that 10 years prior was lost because of a great storm. Thankfully, the volunteer divers of Ghost Fishing were able to locate and remove the net, which weighed 2 tons.
Our team recently took part in the AQUA-LIT workshop that aimed at tackling marine litter from the aquaculture sector in the North, Mediterranean and Baltic Seas, in an attempt to make the sector a leading example on addressing the issue.