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Marine Life & Conservation

Clearing the SS Epsilon

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Volunteer divers and ghost net recovery charities have now cleared the SS Epsilon in Falmouth Bay of ghost fishing gear. The process has taken a long time with several visits from Atlantic Scuba, Fathom’s Free, NARC and Ghost Fishing UK.

Over the last two years, in excess of two tons of fishing nets, pots and ropes have been recovered, recycled or safely disposed of. The last ghost gear removal on July 10th 2021 removed the last medium to large pieces, leaving only deeply embedded remnants. For many years, the SS Epsilon has been referred to as a ‘dirty’ wreck, with huge clumps of net tangled with or lying all over it. Now it is virtually clean, it will be monitored regularly by local divers, to see if any more nets appear. If any nets do turn up they can be investigated to see whether they are new nets, old nets that have been rolling around the sea bed for many years, or nets that have been buried on the site and uncovered by the shifting sea bed.

Luke Bullus of Fathoms Free said: “As a regular diver of the Epsilon with Atlantic Scuba, it’s great to see the wreck is finally clear of ghost gear. Clearing the wreck has been a great collective effort from all involved and it will be interesting to see if more lost and abandoned nets etc. appear on the wreck in the future. Really looking forward to being able to spend more time taking photos of the abundance of marine life found on the wreck rather than filling a mesh bag of ghost gear on every dive!”

Fred Nunn of Ghost Fishing UK said: “It’s been very rewarding to be involved in the clean up of the wreck of the SS Epsilon. Between all the organisations involved there must have been over 10 projects/trips all with the goal to eventually clear the site of Ghost Gear. We are now in the position to have a cleared site to monitor closely and any changes can be documented and investigated for their origin. Plus it is one of my favourite local wrecks so that’s a bonus!”

Mark Milburn of Atlantic Scuba said: “As one of the most dived wrecks in Falmouth Bay, the quantities of nets lying around it made it a less pleasant experience. Every time we took divers there, they always commented on the large amount of nets. We had been picking away at it for a while but with Fathom’s Free and Ghost Fishing UK spending days on site, it certainly made it happen much faster. Our divers will be keeping an eye out, in case any more ghost fishing gear turns up.”

Well done to all involved.

Photo credits

Fathoms Free – the last clean – Mark Milburn
Ghost Fishing UK – an early clean – Kerry Place

Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… Staci-lee Sherwood about how light pollution in Florida is harming sea turtle hatchlings (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Staci-lee Sherwood, Founder & Former Director of S.T.A.R.S – Sea Turtle Awareness Rescue Stranding – about Florida’s latest assault on sea turtles and why the global community should be concerned.

You can read more about this issue in a blog written by Staci-lee on Scubaverse here.

Find out more about Staci-lee on Instagram and YouTube @realitycheckswithstacilee


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… Marine Biologist, Underwater Photographer and Author Paul Naylor (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Paul Naylor about his new book Great British Marine Animals (4th Edition). You can read Jeff’s review of the book here.

Paul is a marine biologist and underwater photographer with a passion for showing people what beautiful and fascinating animals live around the British coast, through articles, talks, films, social media and TV, as well as his latest book.

The creatures’ intriguing behaviour and colourful life stories are the particular focus of his still photography and video, both for scientific research and engaging audiences.

Paul works with conservation organisations and the media to raise the profile of our wonderful marine life and the importance of caring for our seas.

Find out more about Paul and his work at www.marinephoto.co.uk


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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