NewsProtecting Paradise


25 tons of waste raised from ocean floor near Greek island

Posted at 3:43 PM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 15:43:12-04

International marine conservation organizations have retrieved some 25 tons of waste including some two dozen huge nets from the depths of the sea around the Greek Ionian Island of Ithaca, in a large sea clean-up operation to protect marine life.

All kind of waste, including 25 large fish farm nets and equipment, was gathered by volunteer divers from the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Lebanon, Hungary and Greece in the last two weeks.

Local fishermen also participated in the effort.

Abandoned nets, or "ghost nets", named as such because they appear almost invisible under water, trap and kill marine animals every year.

Divers dug out the long, heavy nets from beneath the sand on the seabed. A barge with a crane lifted the nets to the surface and placed them into containers.

They will be taken for recycling by textile company Aquafil and turned into yarn used to make products such as clothing and carpets.

Most of the waste was left behind by a fish farm that shut down, according to environmental organization healthy seas, which organized the clean-up with the international non-profit group ghost diving.

Some 640,000 tons of fishing gear is lost or abandoned annually in seas and oceans, healthy seas said in a statement, plastic waste that harms sea life and leaves microplastics in the water that end up in the food chain.

World Oceans Day, an international event to raise awareness over the impact of human actions on oceans, is marked on June 8.