Harmful fishing gear removed from shipwreck off the coast of Brighton Brighton News

ALMOST 200 kg of deadly fishing gear were recovered from the seabed off Brighton.

Divers have reported discarded fishing nets found on a shipwreck, which can harm marine life and lead to more plastic pollution.

Known as “ghost material”, lost or abandoned nets and pots mean animals can be trapped and serve as bait for other creatures, resulting in an “uninterrupted cycle of unnecessary deaths”, according to Ghost Fishing UK .

The charity aims to prevent ‘ghost fishing’ and has partnered with the Sussex Wildlife Trust to remove ghost gear from the area, as part of the Wild Coast Sussex Project.

The Argus:

Volunteer divers collected the net, which has now been stored at Brighton Marina for recycling.

This is the team’s second mission to Sussex this year, following several reports of stray nets fouling wrecks in the area, causing danger not only to the divers themselves, but to wildlife. along the coastline.

The divers were able to recover 275 kg of lost nets in just three dives, working in 18 meters of water.

Nikki Hills, Project Manager for the Wild Coast Sussex Program, said: “The removal of this net is very important because if left it can trap valuable marine life and add plastic to the sea.

“It was fantastic to join the Ghost Fishing UK team on a trip to retrieve ghost nets and see firsthand the dedicated work of the divers and the amount of net they managed to remove.

“The Wild Coast Sussex Project is very happy to support the work of Ghost Fishing UK and it’s great to have them in Sussex.”

The net was recovered from the SS Pentyrch, a steam freighter torpedoed in 1918.

Since much of the wreckage still protrudes from the seabed, fishing nets can get stuck and continue to trap fish until they can be removed.

Ghost Fishing UK Trustee and Underwater Photographer Christine Grosart said: “We are very grateful for the reports from the divers on these nets.

“We are also very keen to work with the fishing industry to get these unfortunate, unintentional losses out of the sea.

“We urge fishermen to tell us if they have lost any traps or nets so that we can see if it is possible for us to remove them and then recycle them or, in some cases, return them, keeping them at. never out of the ocean.

“We are soon launching a dedicated reporting system for fishermen so that they can report losses to us with confidence.”

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This notice was published: 2021-05-21 07:00:00