Eight volunteer divers from Ghost Diving UK North made a real dent toward the protection of the sea surrounding Newcastle during their 3-day mission between August 13-15th. Diving at the wrecks of SS Mars, SS Hanne, M/S Oslofjord and Evgenia Chandris in Tynemouth, they recovered 125 kgs of netting as well as 18 cages that will no longer be posing a threat to marine life.
Shipwrecks are excellent habitats for marine life, acting as a reef and providing shelter. At the same time, it is on wrecks that fishing nets get most often snagged. It is estimated that 640,000 tons of fishing gear are lost or abandoned annually in the world’s seas and oceans leading to the suffering and death of millions of marine animals.
“The nets are catching aquatic life which brings in other aquatic life to feed on it and they get snagged in the net and they then die. Until we break the cycle and remove the net, it will just continue. We retrieve the net, bring it back to the marina and then it is recycled for another purpose, removing the threat from the sea. Otherwise, they’d just stay there forever, carrying on catching and carrying on killing.”~ Duncan Simpson, Ghost Diving UK
Topside, the divers were supported by 2 volunteers from the Healthy Seas Surface Squad which was put together recently following indepth training sessions with DWS staff who wished to become ambassadors and help take action to protect our oceans! The team would like to also thank the skipper of Spellbinder 2, Alan Lopez.
The mission was made possible also thanks to Hyundai Motor Europe that announced its partnership with Healthy Seas back in April. They are providing funding for the implementation of Healthy Seas cleanup and education activities. Hyundai Motor UK was in Newcastle with the team, to learn more about our work and to document the project by making this very nice video.