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Bizzies Reef Ghostnet

Updated: Aug 19, 2019

By John Kent - 24/06/18

A local diver reported finding ghost fishing gear on The Bizzies Reef about 6 miles N.E.E. of Falmouth. We set out to locate the gear on Sunday 24th June using his coordinates. Our aim was to determine whether the gear had been lost recently (i.e. less than a year) and therefore not colonised by life - making it a possible candidate for removal.

On the day we had fantastic underwater visibility - about 10 meters and the monofilament net was quickly found. We noticed it first when we spotted a large live spider crab who was entangled. The crab was freed and then we inspected the rest of the net. It was plainly a recent loss as it had no marine growth on the net or the supporting rope. There were however many live crabs and some fish caught in the net. We connected a 30kg lift bag, filled it with air and the net rose slowly to the surface as we untangled it from the reef.

Back on the boat it took five people nearly an hour to free the sea life from the net. In total 12 edible crabs, 2 spider crabs, a wrasse, a starfish and a sea urchin were liberated. More importantly however the net will no longer endanger any other sea life - a good day out!

Cutting free live crabs entangled in the net

Wow - look at the size of this one!

One less ghostnet in the sea

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