It has just been announced that ‘Ghost Fishing’ founder Pascal Van Erp is to speak at EUROTEK on the 8th and 9th October 2016.
Pascal is a passionate temperate wreck diver. However much to his dismay, he often found the North Sea wrecks he was diving were covered in nets that ‘ghost fished’.
‘Ghost Fishing’ is the term given to an abandoned fishing net, snagged on reef or wreck, that continues to trap marine wildlife. The marine life eventually dies, whilst the net continues to fish. It is estimated that up to 640,000 tonnes of nylon fishing gear lurks beneath the ocean, and more is added daily.
One day on a dive, Pascal recovered some net. It changed the ethos of his diving – from being an ardent wreck diver to a passionate environmental diver. He was soon heading up a team of divers actively recovering discarded and trapped nets from Netherlands waters, and the ‘Ghost Fishing Foundation‘ was born.
Today a number of divers from Global Underwater Explorers are involved around the world (Germany, Greece, Pakistan, Spain, USA) with this dangerous, demanding and hazardous pursuit. And it has even come to the UK; last year, Pascal lead a team of Brits to recover ghost fishing nets in Scapa Flow.
You might think the story would finish there, but that would be to underestimate this tall quiet Dutchman. Pascal wanted a suitable solution. The answer was to recycle the recovered fishing gear into usable, knittable ECONYL® nylon yarn.
EUROTEK co-founder Rosemary E Lunn heard Pascal speak about the Ghost Fishing Project and thought the new fabric fascinating and something that divers would want to wear. She briefed Fourth Element about the project knowing that this Cornish company is heavily environmentally focused. In 2014 Fourth Element fully closed the loop on the recycling circle, by launching their ‘grave-to-cradle’ ‘OceanPositive‘ range of water-wear garments.
Pascal Van Erp is going to reveal the latest projects the Ghost Fishing Foundation have been involved in at EUROTEK.2016. Tickets for this advanced diving conference are selling quickly. To secure your pass click here.