19 Dec 2022

"Ghosts" continue to haunt Ithaca

You certainly didn't miss that in 2021 and 2022 we ran two large abandoned fish farming projects from the beautiful island of Ithaca in the Ionian Sea. The results were impressive and with a total of more than 100,000 KG unparalleled in size.

While we were active there we listened carefully to the local population who provided us with a lot of information about more underwater pollution. As a result, we have carried out several investigations at a large number of locations and mapped the pollution. These surveys were carried out both with boats and with the aid of DPVs (submersible scooters) because the coastlines here are long and the distances are great.

In the months of November and December we were back on site and together with members of both Ghost Diving Greece and Ghost Diving East-Med, and with the support of Odyssey Outdoor Activities we started clearing various types of fishing gear. The most common techniques in this area are longlines, both professional and recreational, various variants of gill nets and the occasional trawler. We therefore all come across them underwater without exception and it is very clear that there is also a lot of fishing gear being lost as it gets entangled in previously lost fishing gear this is because the fishermen often stick to the area where they used to fish a lot and managed to catch fish. This is tragic to see, it goes on and on and cleaning up is difficult because everything is entangled and an overview is not easy to see.

The first steps have been taken and the results are good, we have made several dives and some older nets and hundreds of meters of long lines have now been removed. These places no longer pose a threat to marine life and the chance that a fisherman will lose his fishing gear here again has decreased.

More action soon as this area needs to be cleaned up, the locations with great lengths of lost nets keep haunting my head. It really can't go on like this.

Pascal van Erp, Global Coordinator | Ghost Diving

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