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Ghost Fishing UK land the prize catch at the Fishing News Awards

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Images by Ghost Fishing UK

Ghost Fishing UK, an organization that trains scuba divers to survey and recover lost fishing gear, won the 2022 Fishing News Awards’ Sustainability Award.

The UK-based fishing trade publication’s award is meant to recognize a unique and innovative response to an environmental sustainability issue within the UK or Irish industry. 

Ghost Fishing UK, started in 2015 to recycle or return lost fishing gear to the industry, is run entirely by volunteers. The organization relies on reports of lost fishing gear from diving and fishing community. To date, Ghost Fishing UK has received more than 200 reports, culminating in more than150 survey and ghost gear recovery dives, amounting to more than 1,000 individual dives and diver hours by the volunteer team members. 

“I’ve been a scuba diver since 1991 and have met thousands of divers in that time. I’d be hard pushed to think of one of them that wasn’t concerned about conservation of our marine environment,” the organization’s chairman and technical diving instructor Rich Walker said in a statement. “To be recognised by the fishing industry for our efforts in sustainability is a huge honour for us, and has encouraged our team to work even harder to find, survey and remove lost fishing gear from the seas.” 

 If you are a fisher who knows of any lost fishing gear, you can report it to the charity here: www.ghostfishing.co.uk/fishermans-reporting

The charity is heading to Shetland for a week-long project in the summer of 2023. If you would like to support this project, please contact them at: info@ghostfishing.co.uk

Conservation

DAN Europe’s Sustainable Tour

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Caring for the Ocean starts by taking the right steps on land

Why CO2 matters

The ocean has the capacity to absorb CO2 from the environment. When excess CO2 dissolves in seawater, it causes an acidity increase. This is known as Ocean Acidification. 

This phenomenon, coupled with other human factors, is destroying marine ecosystems and impacting many ocean species, especially organisms like oysters and corals. We must drastically reduce our CO2 emissions if we want to maintain a healthy ocean and a planet fit for our survival.

To raise awareness, DAN Europe Ambassadors are traveling across Europe and its surroundings in an electric vehicle (recharging it only with renewable energy), meeting with stakeholders and the entire diving community to—literally—drive the change we all need.

25,000 km of new opportunities

From 2021 onwards, DAN Europe has included helping the diving industry to take a more sustainable path, in its own sustainability plan

The Sustainable Tour was born as the result of paying attention to the major threats facing our playground as divers. It’s an environmental education project aimed at dive centres, which seeks to raise awareness about the close relationship between Climate Change and Ocean Acidification.

Last summer, the Sustainable Tour traveled 25,000 km carrying its message through 17 European countries.

These were the results:

  • 70+ meetings with sustainable change leaders
    30+ private companies
    30+ diving centres & clubs
    15+associations working for ocean conservation and sustainable mobility
  • 40+ press mentions In seven different languages
  • 33 blogs 
  • 15 Instagram (IG) Lives
  • 5 lectures: marine conservation
  • 5 Live interviews for the diving industry media
  • 1 Podcast: Hyundai “Are we there yet”

This is no time to stop—we must keep driving for Ocean Conservation!

In 2022, the Sustainable Tour returns, and this time it is the UK’s turn! DAN Europe Ambassadors will tour the entire territory, visiting some 50 dive centres in the area.

The programme will include:

  • Conference: “The link between Climate Change and Ocean Acidification”
  • Special activity with prizes: “DAN Europe by the sea contest”
  • Dedicated Events: Medical Research while Diving Against Debris

The role of DAN Europe in Ocean Protection

DAN Europe exists to assist and protect all divers through the most extensive and reliable network of diving physicians worldwide. We offer the community numerous pioneering services, including the first-ever insurance designed specifically for divers. 

Diving safety is our motto. 

Nowadays, knowing how critically threatened marine ecosystems are, we cannot talk about diving safety if we do not talk about ocean safety too.

If we do nothing, letting CO2 levels continue rising, by 2050 most coral systems in our oceans will be gone. Divers will no longer find any of the wonders shown by Cousteau, and if no one wants to dive any more, even our very existence as an organisation who cares for divers would be pointless.

We recognise the unique beauty and fragility of the Blue Planet and act as ambassadors for more sustainable practices within the diving community.

“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”

—Native American proverb

We recently asked a group of children what they wanted to be when they grew up. Their answers astonished us. 

We remember that when we were little, whenever someone asked us this typical question, we would immediately go through the repertoire of known professions in the world and choose the one we thought was the most fun at the time, maybe a pediatrician or a teacher.

This does not seem to be the case with the children of this new generation. 

Most of the children immediately responded: “When I grow up, I want to save the planet and the ocean.”

Future generations deserve more from us. We need to act now!

Join us along the way as we meet stakeholders and the whole diving community to boost the change we all need: www.sustainabletour.eu / IG @daneurope / Twitter @DAN_Europe / FB DAN Europe (Divers Alert Network Europe) / LinkedIn @DAN Europe

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