On 16th March 2021 Fathoms Free received a ghost net report via our website from a member of the public who had spotted a large trawl net on Mexico Towans Beach, near Hayle in St Ives Bay. The report came from Ivana, who gave us everything we needed from coordinates to a detailed description and photos of the net, along with her contact details so that we could get more information if needed.
Unfortunately, despite local volunteers Rita and Elle heading over as soon as they could, the time, incoming tide and fading light were not on their side. So, the very next day I (Julian) set off on a mission. Upon arriving at the location, Claire and her team from Sandy Acres Cornwall were already busy cutting the net into manageable pieces ready to take away, after being notified by Falmouth Coastguard that they had a net on their stretch of beach.
With a combined team effort, we cut up the net on the beach, carried over a rather steep sand dune to the carpark where we filled the Fathoms Free pickup to the roof before transporting it back to base in East Cornwall ready to be handed over to Odyssey Innovation Ltd for recycling.
Many thanks to Ivana for reporting the net to us and giving us such valuable information, to Rita and Elle for their sterling efforts to locate it in failing light and rising tide, and to Claire and her team at Sandy Acres for their hard work with cutting the net up and transporting it from the beach.