Healthy Seas was represented at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit 2016 in Malta on 1-3 February 2016 where Commissioner Vella emphasized that the “EU is leading the fight against illegal fishing”. Healthy Seas together with a group of dedicated divers is making huge efforts to tackle the issue of ghost nets and collect as much as possible out of European Seas.
The world’s biggest seafood sustainability conference was a great opportunity to raise awareness about the problem of lost fishing gear and demonstrate the solution what Healthy Seas offers.
As a side event at the Summit, from January 31 – February 1, 2016 Healthy Seas executed four lost fishing gear survey and removal dives in Malta together with Ghost Fishing and World Animal Protection UK, our partners in the Global Ghost Gear Initiative. The clean-up actions took place at a local reef and the shipwrecks of SS Margit, SS Hellespont and Imperial Eagle. The various catch consisted of longlines, gillnets, sport fishing gear and crab cages. The result and photos of the actions were shown at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit 2016.
We thank diving center TechWise Malta for their tremendous support and all the positive feedback we got from the participants and the seafood industry about our mission!
Pascal van Erp, Diving coordinator Healthy Seas & Founder Ghost Fishing, said: “We are working on the removal of ghost nets since many years already in the North Sea, Adriatic and Mediterranean Sea, and now we are very happy to extend these activities to Malta as well with the help of local divers. Waste nets in the seas can create problems not only for marine wildlife but also local communities and fishers. Given the scale of the problem, prevention would be the real solution for the future. We already cooperate with fishermen and fish farmers and invite others to join our mission, showing that the fishing industry can be part of the solution and not the problem.”