Healthy Seas and Ghost Diving Spain Lift 450kg Net From Muladera Rock
Healthy Seas, together with Ghost Diving Spain, removed a massive 'ghost' fishing net weighing more than 450kg from the reefs around Muladera Rock, off the coast of the Tossa de Mar municipality in northern Spain.
The net was discovered 'covering the reef like a thick blanket' during a cleanup and educational event organised by the two groups between 1-3 October. Following a conference and beach clean in which 120 local schoolchildren participated and learned about the environmental damage being caused by 'ghost' fishing equipment, eight volunteer divers carried out underwater cleanups at the popular nearby dive site of Muladera Rock. The team found and removed the fishing net preventing marine life from accessing food and shelter in its holes and crevices.
Once the net was transferred to dry land, it was found to cover an area of 100 sqm and weigh 450kgs. The team also removed 30kg of lead from the nets, which will be recycling into dive weights.
The removal of the net coincides with the publication of scientific studies that indicate that the sea surrounding Barcelona is one of the three areas in Spain that is most polluted with plastics from fishing activity. 'For years, divers have observed nets and other fishing equipment polluting this popular diving spot,' said Raúl Alvarez, coordinator of Ghost Diving Spain. 'We are excited to be able to help clean up this area to allow biodiversity to thrive again.'
Veronika Mikos, Healthy Seas Director, said: 'We are proud to have expanded our activities to Spain and be able to support local efforts in order to heal and protect the environmentally burdened coasts and seas of this beautiful country.'
The ‘Healthy Seas, a Journey from Waste to Wear’ initiative was founded in 2013 with the aim of removing waste, fishing nets in particular, from the seas. It is estimated that 640,000 tons of fishing gear are lost or abandoned annually in the world’s seas and oceans, where it continues to catch and kill a vast amount of marine life. Once the nets are removed from the water, the nylon components are recyled into ECONYL yarn which is used in the production of new sustainable products such as swimwear, activewear, socks and carpets.