Storm Arwen was a powerful extratropical cyclone that was part of the 2021–22 European windstorm season. It affected the United Kingdom, Ireland and France, bringing strong winds and snow. Storm Arwen caused at least three fatalities and widespread power outages. It also caused a fisher by the name of Graeme to lose 600 lobster pots in Scottish waters!
Graeme alerted the Ghost Diving UK team to the situation and although they didn’t think it was possible at first, 7 months, 5 visits and over 60 dives later…they did it! Graeme was with the team throughout, assisting the operations with his fishing vessel. At the end, he took the pots back to the harbour, reused some, fixed others and scrapped what was beyond repair.
Weather is one of the main reasons fishing gear can end up being lost at sea. Storms and the increasing extreme weather phenomena which are a result of climate change, can intensity the problem. Each year, 640.000 tons of fishing gear is lost or abandoned in the seas and oceans. Fishing nets nowadays are usually plastic and do not biodegrade staying in the environment for hundreds of years. All the while they lose tiny pieces called microplastics that end up in the stomachs of fish and eventually our plate.