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Conservation

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

Art

Rock & Water

Sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor evokes the sacred, populating underwater seascapes with corporeal objets d’art, meant to be assimilated by the sea.

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Text, photography and art courtesy of Jason deCaires Taylor.

Crossing the Rubicon, Museo Atlántico, Lanzarote, Spain, Atlantic Ocean

“Museums are places of conservation, education, and about protecting something sacred. We need to assign those same values to our oceans.”

Nexus, Oslo Fjord, Norway
Museo Subacuático de Arte, Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico
Museo Subacuático de Arte, Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico

As soon as we sink them, they belong to the sea.

The Rising Tide, River Thames, Vauxhall, London

“The Rising Tide was located within sight of the Houses of Parliament. The politician on a petroleum horse was an obvious metaphor for how fossil fuel companies are embedded into our politician system. I think we really have to start holding people accountable for what they are doing. And that needs to be documented in stone rather than in a few words in a newspaper column that disappears. There are a lot of people whose actions need to be immortalised.”

The Raft of Lampedusa, Museo Atlántico, Lanzarote, Spain, Atlantic Ocean
Museo Subacuático de Arte, Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico
Nexus, Oslo Fjord, Norway
The Coral Greenhouse, John Brewer Reef, Australia, Pacific Ocean
The Silent Evolution, Museo Subacuático de Arte, Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico

“It is named a museum for a simple reason. Every day we dredge, pollute and overfish our oceans, while museums are places of preservation, of conservation, and of education. They are places where we keep objects that have great value to us. Our oceans are sacred.”

Check out www.underwatersculpture.com for a lot more amazing work!


Jason deCaires Taylor MRSS is an award winning sculptor, environmentalist and professional underwater photographer. For the past 16 years, Taylor has been creating underwater museums and sculpture parks beneath the waves, submerging over 1,100 living artworks throughout the world’s oceans and seas. Themes explored by these artistic installations include, among others, the climate emergency, environmental activism, and the regenerative attributes of nature. The sculptures create a habitat for marine life whilst illustrating humanity’s fragility and its relationship with the marine world. Taylor’s subjects mainly feature members of the local community, focussing on their connections with their own coastal environments.

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