Divers recover 1.5 tonnes of discarded fishing gear around isles

A team of divers from an environmental charity have recovered 1,500kg of lost fishing gear around Shetland in a week-long effort.

Ghost Fishing UK was invited to the isles by campaign group Fishing Forward, who have continually highlighted the amount of discarded gill nets around local waters.

Twelve volunteer divers recovered one-and-a-half tonnes of gear over six days –  including a trawl net from the wreck of the Fraoch Ban and 41 creel pots.

Trip organiser Christine Gosart said they had been asked to help because of the abundance off abandoned gill nets which were being pulled in by Shetland trawlers.

“These nets are not used by local fishermen, yet they are causing havoc with wildlife and there are huge concerns about pollution, net dumping and littering from foreign gill netters.

“We decided to pick low hanging fruit this week and try and get some lost creels back to the local fishermen, whilst starting a discussion on how we can work together to solve bigger problems of gill nets.

“We could not have done this without the cooperation of the Shetland fishing community.

“We are eternally grateful to her and the fishermen who reported their lost pots – they were delighted to get them back again.”

Ghost Fishing UK said it was keen to return to Shetland again to continue its efforts.


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