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Volunteer divers and fisherman team up to release trapped marine life off Cornish coast

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This group of divers led by Mark Milburn from Atlantic Scuba certainly got more than they bargained for this week! What started as a trip out to release 700 juvenile lobsters, ended up with the dramatic rescue of dozens of crabs, lobsters and other marine life trapped inside a massive 100m+ net that had been abandoned off the Cornish coast.

Mark tells the story here:

A group of volunteer divers, led by myself, went out into Falmouth Bay on Tuesday to release 700 juvenile lobsters for the National Lobster Hatchery. Their chosen location was just off of Rosemullion Headland. Diving in two groups, I dived with the first group and we descended and released around half the lobsters.

As we then headed along the reef to do a little exploring, we soon came across a piece of net, standing 4-5m from the sea bed. It continued a long way and was stretched across the reef. Within a few metres we came across some spider crabs, caught in the net and we quickly started to cut the crabs free.


Once we had released the crabs, placing them some distance away, we continued along the net. The net had dozens of spider crabs, brown crabs and lobsters trapped along it’s length, stretching out for over 100m across the reef. We left a surface marker buoy in place for the second group to locate the net. We realised it was going to be a very dangerous operation to remove the net and wanted to consult with our second group of divers as to the potential of removing the net. Our group headed for the surface and were picked up by our boat. We dropped a buoyed anchor by the surface marker buoy, which was then recovered.

While the second group was kitting up, a local fisherman, Tim Bailey, came across to see if the representative from the National Lobster Hatchery was on board. She hadn’t gone out on the boat but had returned to the hatchery in Padstow. I told Mr Bailey of the net, explaining it’s size and direction as best I could from what we had seen underwater. Mr Bailey kindly offered to help recover the net using his mechanical hauler aboard his boat. It would be a lot safer than divers trying to do it!

The second group entered the water and descended down the buoyed anchor line. Once they reached the sea bed, they released the rest of the baby lobsters and then tied the anchor to the rope of the net. Once they competed the dive, Mr Bailey picked up the buoyed line and attached it to his hauler. Four of the divers went aboard Mr Bailey’s boat to help bring the net aboard. For over thirty minutes they pulled and hauled at the net, slowly dragging it aboard.

Eventually they managed to bring the whole net aboard, with an estimated length at well over 100m. Once back at harbour, more fishermen came to help Mr Bailey with the disposal of the net.

How many creatures it has caught and killed will never be known but we made sure it won’t be able to kill any more. Thanks to everyone that helped with the rescue and release of the net.

Mark Milburn is the owner of Atlantic Scuba in Falmouth, Cornwall, England, and is an SDI/TDI/NAS/RYA Instructor and a Commercial Boat Skipper. Although often referred to as a maritime archaeologist, he prefers to call himself a wreck hunter. Find out more about Mark and Atlantic Scuba by visiting www.atlanticscuba.co.uk.

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Nauticam announce NA-A7C Housing for Sony a7C Camera

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Sony’s latest full frame mirrorless camera, the a7C offers the underwater image maker one of the most compact and travel friendly full frame systems available on the market today.  The a7C features Sony’s latest stellar autofocus and a much improved battery life thanks to its use of the larger Z series battery. The BIONZ X processor delivers superb low-light performance and faster image processing. For video shooters, the a7C features internal UHD 4K capture in the wide-dynamic range HLG image profile at up to 30p.

Nauticam has housed more mirrorless cameras, and more Sony E Mount cameras than any other housing manufacturer. This experience results in the most evolved housing line with broadest range of accessories available today.

Pioneering optical accessories elevate performance to a new level. Magnifying viewfinders, the sharpest super macro accessory lenses ever made, and now the highest quality water contact wide angle lenses (the WWL-1B and WACP-1) combine with the NA-A7C housing to form a complete imaging system.

Nauticam is known for ergonomics, and an unmatched experience. Key controls are placed at the photographer’s fingertips. The housing and accessories are light weight, and easy to assemble. The camera drops in without any control presetting, and lens port changes are effortless.

NA-A7C features an integrated handle system. This ergonomic style provides exceptional control access, even with thick gloves, with ideal placement of the shutter release and a thumb-lever to actuate the AF-ON button from the right handle.

Nauticam build quality is well known by underwater photographers around the globe. The housing is machined from a solid block of aluminum, then hard anodized making it impervious to salt water corrosion. Marine grade stainless and plastic parts complete the housing, and it is backed by a two year warranty against manufacturing defects.

For more information in the UK visit the Nauticam website by clicking here.

For more information in the USA visit the Nauticam website by clicking here.

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Blogs

BLUE EARTH – Future Frogmen Podcast Series – The Next Generation of Ocean Stewards: Lauren Brideau

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A series of conservation educational podcasts from Future Frogmen, introduced by Jeff Goodman.

The Next Generation of Ocean Stewards: Lauren Brideau

We have a new host, Dr. Colleen Bielitz, and today we’ll be interviewing a recent college graduate as part of our once-a-month episode that focuses on students: the next generation of conservationists, researchers, and activists.

What are the next generation of ocean stewards doing to protect our Blue Earth? Join us as we find out by speaking to Lauren Brideau, a recent graduate of Southern Connecticut State University. Lauren started as an undeclared major but soon found her calling, now she is part of a research team conserving life below water.  She is a prime example that if you want to defend our oceans and the creatures that depend on the sea to survive, now is the time to become part of the solution.


Richard E Hyman Bio

Richard is the Chairman and President of Future Frogmen.

Born from mentoring and love of the ocean, Richard is developing an impactful non-profit organization. His memoir, FROGMEN, details expeditions aboard Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s famed ship Calypso.

Future Frogmen, Inc. is a nonprofit organization and public charity that works to improve ocean health by deepening the connection between people and nature. They foster ocean ambassadors and future leaders to protect the ocean by accomplishing five objectives.


You can find more episodes and information at www.futurefrogmen.org and on most social platforms @futurefrogmen.

 

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