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Ghost Fishing and Dive for Antibiotics

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Ghost Fishing and Dive for Antibiotics – Capenwray

It is a normal but unfortunate part of fishing that nets, pots and lines become lost. This is rarely a deliberate act on behalf of the fishing community but simply a reality of a very harsh environment.

Sadly, the lost gear continues to needlessly catch marine life and has an undoubted but poorly documented effect on the local and global marine ecosystem.

Ghost Fishing UK is a charity established in 2015 dedicated to removing Abandoned, Lost, and Discarded Fishing Gear known as ‘Ghost Gear’. The organisation consists of over 70 volunteer scuba divers and supporters, with extensive training in advanced diving practices, specifically in relation to minimising the impact on the environment.

Capenwray 7th and 8th January

Ghost Fishing UK came to Capenwray to offer introductory dives and to explain how they operate with a view to offering future training and participation in their projects.

Ghost Fishing divers survey sites first and collect data on the ghost gear and any animals trapped, alive and dead.

They then plan a course of action and remove gear safely using a variety of techniques. Great care is needed to ensure that the diver does not become entangled with the equipment. This involves a high degree of teamwork, coordination and discipline.

Ghost Fishing UK is actively training new divers on the ‘Ghost Fishing course’ created in early 2018. Groups of regional divers are now active in responding to reports of Ghost Gear and setting up local projects to remove it.

Taster sessions were held at Capenwary on 7th and 8th January. Tools of the trade were demonstrated initially on dry land and then in the water.

A number of simulations had been set up on some of the wrecks in the water. Participants practiced surveying, removal and lifting.

A number of club members were present and attended a further evening presentation and social at the Silverdale Hotel.

Ghost Fishing UK are looking to strengthen their northern team and will be offering training courses in the near future – see their web site for details.


Dive for Antibiotics :

During the evening event there was a talk by researchers from Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences at Strathclyde University describing the increasing threat to civilization from anti-biotic resistant bacteria and their novel approach to look for potential new drugs from bacteria found in marine sediments.

Dive for Antibiotics which is an initiative that relies on volunteer divers to collect sediment samples from which Actinobacteria can be isolated and screened for production of bioactive compounds capable of killing harmful microorganisms. See the Dive for Antibiotics Facebook page.

Periodically ‘collection pack’ are sent out to volunteer to divers, which include instructions on how to collect their sample and what information is required about where they had collected it

From the initial set of samples collected 5 new Actinobacteria were identified that produce antibiotic compounds capable of killing disease-causing bacteria. Amazingly four of these could kill MRSA and two could kill both MRSA and Pseudomonas.

Further work will continue on with the Dive for Antibiotic projects and getting help from volunteer divers all around the UK. If you’re interested in following the project or taking part, please check us out on our social media. Initial calls went out through Seasearch media

There are also other projects which we could get involved in which includes sampling for microplastic research for instance

Visit BSAC.com