The Calypso Sub-Aqua Club is encouraging its members to participate in a Ghost Fishing Study being undertaken by Mr. Matthew Dawson, an environmental student at the Institute of Applied Sciences at MCAST.
We reproduce the letter from Mr. Dawson below and encourage you to participate.
This is a call for all scuba divers who are interested in taking part in a study on discarded fishing nets in Maltese waters and helping to create a map plotting the location of these nets for scuba diver safety.
I am an environmental student at the institute of applied science Mcast. For my last year of a bachelor degree I am conducting a dissertation study on fishing related marine waste. The study focuses on discarded nets, ghost nets, their environmental impacts and the effects they have on groups of people, such as scuba divers. For this study to work data on the nets need to be collected and unfortunately I am not a scuba diver so I cannot do this myself.
In return the data collected will be used to create a map showing the location of these nets, allowing divers to be aware and avoid the hazard.
The data is simple and easy to collect. Only four types of data is needed which are the following:
- Estimated size of the net
- Picture of the net or guess what type of net it is
And also, a few optional comments or observations describing the net you find, such as:
- Are there any animals dead or alive trapped in the net?
- Is the net free floating or wrapped around a rock or wreck or reef?
- A guess of what type of material the net is made from?
- Estimate roughly the size and shape of the holes in the net?
Please make sure you collect the data with care so that you do not get caught in the hazard.
Lastly, the study plans to hold meeting with dive groups to ask a few questions, as a focus group, to better understand the impact these nets are having on scuba divers. Any diving groups interested in taking part in these focus groups please contact me on the same email.
Matthew Dawson. "