North Sea

Ghost fishing is a severe threat to the ecosystem of the North Sea with a significantly negative impact on over-exploited fish species. In addition, large amounts of lost or abandoned plummets and hooks cause lead deposits that contribute to the pollution of the North Sea.

Wrecks 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. These two facts combined means that there is an increased possibility of finding trapped marine life around wrecks so Healthy Seas is cleaning up waste nets from some of the wrecks in the Dutch, UK and German North Sea.

Healthy Seas also works with fishermen at Den Oever harbour to prevent that their useless nets end up polluting the seas and oceans or sent to landfill. In addition, education programmes take place in the Netherlands on a regular basis throughout the year to raise awareness in young minds about ghost nets and circular economy as a solution to marine pollution.

In the Netherlands, recovered nets are stored in Den Oever, Katwijk and in IJmuiden.

MAKO: A boat that will help us fight ghost net pollution


DWS and Healthy Seas aim at protecting the seas and marine life while also raising public awareness about the problem of lost and abandoned fishing nets.

The Shortfin Mako

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Videos from the North Sea

Our partners in the North Sea