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Healthy Seas? Stop ghost-fishing! North Sea - RAC Ate Oostra Berlin, October 2012. The “100 wrecks clean up project”, part of the “Healthy Sea Programme”. Participating organisations: Vereniging Kust & Zee (Dutch Branch of Coastal & Marine Union - EUCC)

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  • Healthy Seas?

  • Stop ghost-fishing!

    North Sea - RAC

    Ate Oostra

    Berlin, October 2012


The “100 wrecks clean up project”, part of the “Healthy Sea Programme”

  • Participating organisations:

  • Vereniging Kust & Zee

  • (Dutch Branch of Coastal & Marine Union - EUCC)

  • Duik de Noordzee Schoon (voluntary divers)

  • North Sea Foundation

  • Sportvisserij Nederland

  • Project is funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery (NPL)


  • Facts “Healthy Sea Programme”:

  • Thousands of shipwrecks are present in the North Sea (e.g. over 3000 in the Dutch part alone)

  • Gradual disappearance of the seafloor’s hard substrate (rocks and pebbles), makes wrecks increasingly

  • important to plants and animals

  • A wrack is home to appr. 250 species of which 90% is not present at the sandy seafloor at all

  • Shipwrecks are true biological hotspots!

  • However, nets of the fishing industry and lines and lead weights of anglers get stuck, causing littering and ghost-fishing


This is how littered shipwrecks look like “Healthy Sea Programme”


  • Facts “Healthy Sea Programme”:

  • Appr. 6000 kg of fishing nets are presentlyremovedannually (<33 cleanedwrecksonly , and there are thousands of wrecks present)

  • “Catching capacity of static cod-gear over a wreck continued for 2 years at low level" ("The catching capacity of lost static gears“, Mike Pawson. CEFAS # 33. HT UK.)

  • Considerablequanties of lead (hundreds of tons of leadweights) are lost at wrecksannually,Dutch NorthSeaonly

  • Fish and crabsgetcaught and die…


Project Gezonde Zee: wrakken vol leven “Healthy Sea Programme”


The joint “Healthy Sea Programme”project:

Divers clean up 100 shipwrecks in the Dutch North-Sea (2011-2013)

Meetings with stakeholders and policy makers to formulate new policies to address the issue

Development of new materials: alternatives to lead, lead weights and fishlines (biolines)

Production of films and photos

Informing the public at large


Project Gezonde Zee: wrakken vol leven “Healthy Sea Programme”


Project Gezonde Zee: wrakken vol leven “Healthy Sea Programme”


Cleaning up wrecks “Healthy Sea Programme”


How could we help the sea, yourself and us? “Healthy Sea Programme”

  • Avoid fishing too closely to shipwrecks, neither with e.g. bottom trawling nets nor gill-nets

  • Do not lose nets

  • Could we jointly try to develop the right policy? contact us to this end! if possible before 10 th of November when a meeting of stakeholders is envisaged.

  • Further information can be obtained at, Mike Mannaart, Project Manager:

  • [email protected]



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