Abandoned, Lost or Scrapped Fishing Gear (ALDFG), also known as ghost gear, has received increasing attention in recent years. Scientific reports indicate that ghost nets are the deadliest form of marine plastic pollution, killing millions of marine animals.
Fortunately, there are many organizations working to tackle this problem internationally. Specifically in the UK, several marine conservation groups have embarked on the fight against ghost craft, carrying out clean-up projects with expert divers.
In order to reduce the response time to reported ghost craft sightings and broaden their geographic scope, Fathoms Free, Ghost Diving UK, NARC andSea Shepherd Ghostnet Campaign decided to form a coalition to combine their vast resources and improve their efficiency. The new coalition will be called the UK Ghost Gear Coalition.
Now, when members of the public report ghost gear sightings on a coalition member's platform, the data will be immediately available to all members of the UK Ghost Gear Coalition (UKGCC). This will ensure the fastest and most efficient response, minimizing travel times using the closest available resources.
Recovering phantom material is logistically demanding, and the coalition aims to meet these requests in the best possible way. By using divers who are closest to the reported sighting, response times will be drastically reduced and the carbon footprint will be drastically reduced.
In addition to these efficiency improvements, UKGGC members will work together to ensure safe practices and use each other's experiences in an ongoing development program.
The coalition also aims to raise awareness of marine pollution and the phenomenon of ghost fishing by participating in school programs and public events.
The UKGGC is open to working with other organizations dedicated to removing ghost craft from the sea before they harm marine life or reach our shores.
Formed in 2014 by environmentalists to solve the problem of plastics and marine debris around Cornwall's coast. Fathoms Free has now become a team of volunteer divers dedicated to the management of ALDFG (abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear) and marine debris. With their own RHIB for faster responses from any coastline and a great relationship with area charters, they're tackling the problem head-on by cleaning up wrecks and ghost fishing gear reefs around the south. -West of England.
Ghost Diving United Kingdom
Ghost Diving UK is part of a global organization founded in 2012, run by volunteer divers specializing in the removal of lost fishing gear and other marine debris. They carry out innovative and challenging nature conservation projects independently or in collaboration with other organizations with common goals. Through meaningful cleanup results and inspiring underwater photographs, they have been instrumental in raising public awareness of the phenomenon of 'ghost fishing'. In the UK, they are operating north from Tynemouth and targeting wrecks in the North Sea and soon on the southeast and west coasts.
Neptune's Army of Rubbish Cleaners (NARC) is an award-winning charity formed in 2005 by local diver Dave Kennard. The charity is run entirely by volunteers who are passionate about the positive impact on the marine environment. Since its inception, NARC has carried out over 2000 underwater cleanings and worked with a number of partners in the UK and overseas. Along with clean-up diving, NARC is focusing on impact awareness and finding collaborative solutions along the Pembrokeshire coast.
Sea Shepherd Ghostnet Campaign
As part of a global Sea Shepherd effort to tackle the problem of discarded fishing gear, Sea Shepherd UK launched its Ghostnet campaign in January 2018 to focus on known problem areas around UK coastal waters. The campaign will continue from Grimsby and focus on the E. Yorkshire / N. Lincs in 2022.
For information, if there are other organizations wishing to join the coalition, it is possible to contact:
Tony Land firstname.lastname@example.org