An initiative by Ghost Fishing UK to clean up a stretch of the Shetland waters by locating, recovering and recycling lost gear has been assisted by Lerwick Port Authority.
The charity’s team of 12 scuba divers has been operating to depths of around 30 metres over six days (6-11 August) to recover lost nets and pots, with its diving vessel Valhalla returning nightly to the harbour where the Port Authority made available free berthing at Alexandra Wharf, along with working space on the quayside.
With the assistance of local volunteers, the materials have been washed down, cleaned and sorted, ready to be sent by ferry to the mainland and on to Glasgow for recycling. Creels are returned to the fishermen.
On its first clean-up project off Shetland, an outreach meeting was held in Shetland Museum on Thursday evening to introduce Ghost Fishing UK to locals, including conservationists and fishing industry representatives, and to give an update on progress.
Stuart Wadley, the Port Authority’s HSEQ Manager, said: “Ghost Fishing is to be congratulated on its efforts which are in line with our own commitment to protect the environment in all our operations and to work with third parties wherever appropriate. Ghost nets are often from foreign vessels and full of unintended catch.”
Established in 2015, award-winning Ghost Fishing UK is dedicated to removing abandoned, lost, and discarded fishing gear known as ‘Ghost Gear’, the cause of lethal entanglement hazards to marine life and scuba divers.
Find out more about Ghost Fishing UK:
Learn more about Orkney and Shetland Dive Charters who are regular visitors to Lerwick: