Ghost Fishing

Ghost Diving establishes a new chapter in the UK

The international volunteer diver organisation—formerly known as Ghost Fishing—was founded in 2012 to locate and remove lost, snagged and entangled fishing gear or "ghost fishing" equipment from our oceans and seas, across the globe.

From day one this important role has always been conducted by groups of highly experienced, specially skilled, volunteer technical divers who are used to team diving on standard gases, using a set equipment configuration. The divers involved understand and appreciate the hazards of these dives.

Correction Notice

Dr Rich Walker, Chairman of Ghost Fishing UK advised us in writing on the 15 February 2021. 

"In addition GF-UK focuses on writing and selling removal courses to non-technical divers.

"Our course was written years ago, and we categorically do not "sell” them. The course is free of charge to all that are selected to attend. Delivering courses is not a primary focus of Ghost Fishing UK. It is a necessary component of maintaining a safe and effective team." Rich Walker

The 'Ghost Fishing' organisation puts divers centre stage

It was delivered by a very tall, quiet Dutchman by the name of Pascal van Erp. Pascal explained how he had started to recover abandoned ghost fishing gear entangled on wrecks in 2009. He soon inspired others to join him. It was not long before organised teams of volunteer technical divers were recovering tons of ghost fishing gear off the Dutch coastline. In 2012, Van Erp formally founded the not-for-profit Ghost Fishing organisation.

The decomposing green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) was found tangled in fishing line and snared on a fishing hook off Eleuthera in The Bahamas

Haunting image of plastic-wrapped turtle carcass wins top prize

Anita had been leading a dive in the Bahamas at a site called the 'Sea Garden', when she discovered the carcass of a green sea turtle with a hook protruding from its decomposing tongue.

Images like this can become warnings for the future. Shane Gross

The animal had obviously been trapped in situ for a significant period of time, and had drowned.

The 'Fitzroy' and the 'Kynance' sunglasses have been fitted with Barberini mineral Platinum-Glass™ UV400 polarised recyclable lenses

Waterhaul Sunglasses

At present there are two different styles in the inaugural collection: the 'Fitzroy' and the 'Kynance'. The former square frame suits both male and female medium to large faces, whilst the Kynance has been designed for male and female with small to medium sized faces.

Waterhaul - a term originating from Newfoundland cod fisheries, used to describe the act of hauling in an (empty) seine or trawl net absent of any catch

Ghost Fishing in the German North Sea

In May 2016, the dive team of the Dutch Ghost Fishing Foundation helped a German Greenpeace campaign, with the goal of drawing attention to the sizable problem of ghost nets in the North Sea. After almost two weeks of ideal weather conditions—with bizarrely bad visibility underwater—the deck of the Arctic Sunrise boasted five enormous BIG BAGs (the Swedish eco-friendly garbage bag brand) full of nets and fishing lines.


It is the nightmare of every diver who dives the Dutch North Sea—getting entangled in a fishing line of old net, unable to free yourself. The Dutch wrecks are becoming an ever popular destination for both the fishing and diving industry. A threat to both, fishing boats and anglers can lose their nets and lines on wrecks, and divers can lose their lives.