The diving season started already a month ago but unfortunately the weather didn’t allow us to sail out much. Our Belgium diving team ‘Ecoduikers’ started a couple of weeks ago, filling 9 postbags with approximately 150 kilograms of lost fishing nets from the shipwrecks S.S. Laura and MHS Achilles. Yesterday, Sunday 4 July, the first clean-up activity in the Dutch North Sea took place, resulting in approximately 750 kilograms of lost fishnets. Our diving team ‘Ghostfishing’ headed with 14 volunteer divers to the North Sea wrecks ‘HMS Aboukir’ and ‘Klipper’ for two ghostnet removal dives.
Recently some lost fishing gear was located at the wreck called ‘Klipper’. This wreck is located straight from Hook of Holland in the Dutch North Sea, just off the shipping channel at a depth of 24-30 meters. It previously had three masts, which are half beside the wreck. It is estimated the wreck is 150 years old and houses lots of fish. The second dive in the afternoon was to the nearby HMS Aboukir, which the team already visited once last year. The wreck is covered with fishing gear, although luckily a lot has been removed during the last years.
The shipwreck S.S. Laura , a 91 meters long Dutch steamship built in 1918, lies at a depth of 33 meters near the Westhinder, in the Belgium North Sea. The MHS Achilles, better accessible because it is ‘only’ at a depth of 18 meters, lies nearby and was already visited by the Ecoduikers last year. In order to finish their work, they returned for a final clean-up dive, and they were happy to notice that not a lot of new lost ghostnets were added to the shipwreck in the meantime.
Download our calendar for the upcoming months with the tentative dates for the Belgium and Dutch clean-up diving trips below, and follow our journey closely.
Photo: Peter Verhoog