Bay of Kvarner, Croatia, August 25th – September 2nd – Healthy Seas’ latest main diving event for the recovery of ghost fishing nets took place.
Racemark, Object Carpet, and Aquafil joined the mission and followed the Healthy Seas team on a boat to experience the activity firsthand and help free several animals that were found entangled in ghost nets.
Back to Croatia for the first time since 2014, Healthy Seas was eager to find out if the work they performed on the Argos shipwreck 5 years earlier had a lasting effect.
12 volunteer divers, from the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Italy, Greece and Croatia of course, signed up for this project: remove ghost fishing gear and save marine life. Several reefs, safe havens of exceptional marine biodiversity, were also ghost net removal targets.
The nine days of hard physical labor brought very fruitful and at times, unexpected results.
The Argo Shipwreck remains clean. Divers saw no new nets on it and, on the contrary, beautiful corals have taken the place of the trawler nets divers removed back in 2014.
A lucky stingray and a barrel jellyfish were also found in time and rescued.
All in all, about 1000 meters of gillnets were removed during 12 dives, as well as several meters of trawler nets, 100 meters of long lines and 15 crab cages, most of which were returned to the fishermen that had lost them.
The nets are transported to our partner Nofir A.S. for sorting and then the nylon parts will be regenerated, together with other nylon waste, into ECONYL® yarn.
Some facts and figures from the Croatia 2019 mission:
- Diving team: 12 divers
- Diving days: 9 days
- Total wrecks: 4 wrecks
- Approx. 1km gill nets (variety of very old to recent)
- Several meters of (old) trawler nets
- Approx. 100m of long lines (variety of very old to recent)
- 15x Crab cages
Animals entangled (all in gill nets):
- Common Stingray (2x)
- Barrel Jellyfish (3x)
- Spider Crab (1x)
- Box Crab (4x)
- Hermit Crab (1x)
- Several fish species (some alive, most dead)