12 Jun 2023

A grim reminder on the Tuna Clipper, USA

Team Ghost Diving USA returned to the Tuna Clipper on June 5th. There were multiple objectives for this mission. The first, to collect the rest of the net needed for the Beam Center playground equipment project. Next, recover a lift bag left behind on the last trip to the Tuna Clipper. Net handling team 1, Jim and Karim, were focused on the outer edge of the wreck where there is a significant amount of net buried in the sand. Net handling team 2, Tianyi and Nir, were focusing on other portions of the net closure to the wreck.

Our team did face some challenges. 2 lift bags were attached and then ripped off the net once they were inflated. Tianyi and Nir found a section of net that was attached to a significant amount of chain. The problem with this chain is that, due to the weight, the lift bags struggle to lift the chain to the surface. The team will have to return to address the portions of net that are attached to chain.

Of particular interest, the team found a very grim reminder of why our work is important. Amongst the net, divers found a skull. It was later determined that the skull belonged to a dolphin. The team was able to document and recover the skull. Heal the Planet (2021) estimated that approximately 650,000 whales, dolphins, seals, and other marine animals die as a result of fishing gear. Sadly, the team was again visited by this reality.

Jim Babor | Ghost Diving USA

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