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Retrieval of deadly ghost nets in the Baltic Sea

Insel Rügen, Germany

Help us to protect harbour porpoises, dolphins, seals, fish and seabirds in the Baltic Sea from entanglement in ghost nets. Volunteer divers will retrieve lost nets together with the Gesellschaft zur Rettung der Delphine e.V.

B. Ischner from Gesellschaft zur Rettung der Delphine e.V.
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Cleaning the Baltic Sea of ghost nets with volunteer divers

In 2019, in cooperation with the "Gesellschaft zur Rettung der Delphine e.V." the first project in the Baltic Sea of the international Ghost Fishing Foundation took place to remove ghost nets  - near the island of Fehmarn and Ruegen.

After a successful retrieval with the volunteer divers of the Ghost Fishing Foundation we will now carry out ghost net removals with the Tauchbasis Prora.
There are still many more tons of ghost nets at the shipwrecks around the island of Ruegen.  It is time to act!

The silent killer in the ocean 

Loads of abandoned fishing gear in our oceans are making countless victims every second. Often drifted with ocean currents over huge distances. 

This lost fishing gear leads to the so-called „ghost fishing“: 
Caught fish die and attract predators which will get caught in the same net. 
Entangled, starved to death, injured. 
The ghost net becomes a deadly trap: It continuously catches fish, birds and marine mammals for many decades at the seabed. 

An estimated 640,000 tonnes of lost fishing nets kill more than 
136,000 seals, sea lions and whales every year, in addition to millions of birds, turtles and fish. 

The problem is big, world wide, fast growing and largely unknown to the public. 

Out of control, often out of sight. Silently.

Why is a retrieval of ghost nets in the Baltic Sea so important?

The Baltic Sea provides a habitat for our only native whale species, the porpoise. 
Porpoises in the Baltic Sea are among the most vulnerable small whale population in Europe! Their stock is permanently declining: Gillnet fishery, marine pollution and underwater noise pose a threat to their lives.

From time to time dolphins have been seen in the Baltic Sea.
Moreover, for more than 9 million birds the Baltic Sea is a wintering area.

However, the Baltic Sea has to face the problem of marine pollution including ghost nets. Therefore, the Gesellschaft zur Rettung der Delphine e.V. (GRD) wants to fight against ghost nets.

Please support our fight against deadly ghost nets to protect porpoises, dolphins and other creatures.