This evening our team were busy recovering ghost gear from the SS Hellopes in Mounts Bay, Penzance, Cornwall, which had been reported to us by BSAC - British Sub-Aqua Club divers after the Kernow Dive Festival.
We relied on detailed intelligence from other divers, as the wreck lay in 38m and so we didn't have time to waste. The team quickly located and recovered the main piece of monofilament net which posed a danger to both divers and marine life, then proceeded to check the rest of the wreck.
Much to our disappointment, the wreck was covered in pieces of monofilament net, rope and fishing lines. Some of these small clumps of monofilament net were still catching animals, so we removed as much as we safely could given the depth we were working at and time constraints.
The divers also noticed that lost fishing gear in the form of monofilament nets and fishing lines were also causing damage to pink sea fan corals, which are considered vulnerable by the IUCN red list. In the UK pink sea fan corals are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.