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: email@example.com
Gilboa Quarry Installs First Underwater Freshwater Farm in the US
by Stephen Luchon
Gilboa Quarry in Ottawa, Ohio, is considered one of the premier Midwest dive locations. Offering spring-fed clear waters, an impressive marine life population, and numerous underwater attractions to explore, Gilboa has long been revered among scuba divers since opening over 30 years ago. Part of Gilboa’s appeal is its variety for divers of all levels. Boasting depths ranging from 10-43 m/30-140 ft, Gilboa Quarry provides ideal conditions for both novice and technical divers looking to develop their skills further.
Adding to its impressive feature list, Gilboa recently achieved a US milestone partnering with underwater technology innovators OCEANREEF to bring its “Nemo’s Garden” technology and experience to Ohio. In 2012, OCEANREEF pioneered Nemo’s Garden to grow plants underwater in transparent “biospheres.” After achieving considerable success with this technology in Italy and beyond, Gilboa Quarry installed the first fresh and cold water Nemo’s Garden biosphere in the United States. Installed approximately 2.4 m/8 ft below the water, the Nemo’s Garden biosphere benefits from significant sunlight, easy access for marine farmers, and has already become a beloved and much talked about and photographed attraction at Gilboa.
Working closely with OCEANREEF, Gilboa Quarry is working to provide visitors with exclusive tours through Nemo’s Garden, immersing visitors in an underwater world where herbs such as basil and a variety of microgreens and produce thrive beneath the surface in a controlled and heavily monitored environment.
Visitors participating in the guided tours will experience various exciting activities including:
• Use of specialized diving equipment: With specially tailored diving gear designed to complement the aquatic biosphere environment, guests will fully immerse themselves in an extraordinary underwater adventure.
• Tending to the Plants: Tour participants will gain hands-on experience caring for aquatic plants, exploring all of its intricacies.
• Scientific Studies: Guests will document plant growth and participate in scientific studies that increase their knowledge of underwater ecosystems and sustainability.
• Underwater Photo Ops: Thanks to underwater FaceTime access through WIFI, visitors can capture unforgettable moments in this captivating environment.
• Live Stream Feature: Nemo’s Gardens @Gilboa Quarry will showcase some of its most breathtaking moments during tours, enabling visitors to share their unforgettable experience with others via various social media platforms and websites.
Ocean Reef’s innovative approach to underwater biospheres combined with Gilboa Quarry’s breathtaking natural beauty and bountiful marine life provides an unmatched, immersive scuba experience for aquatic enthusiasts seeking adventure, wonder, and a better understanding of the underwater world. With Nemo’s Gardens previously predominately installed in warm salt water, Nemo’s Garden @ Gilboa Quarry stands as an important milestone in underwater farming research as the technology tackles a new environment. Gilboa looks forward to welcoming visitors from across the globe who wish to witness how nature meets innovation in such stunning fashion.
Stephen Luchon, a 38-year-old web developer and graphic artist from Pittsburgh, PA, enriches the scuba community with his technical expertise and artistic flair. He is also the IT Director at Gilboa Quarry in Ottawa, Ohio. An avid CCR Mixed Gas Diluent Diver with a passion for deep wreck exploration, Stephen shares his adventures and knowledge on his YouTube, Dive Current, inspiring fellow adventure-seekers worldwide.