Marine / Ghost gear charity ready for Shetland trip after reaching fundraising goal

Photo: Ghost Fishing UK

A FUNDRAISING campaign to help pay for a charity to send a team of 12 divers to Shetland to retrieve discarded fishing gear from the sea has reached its target in just a matter of days.

As previously reported, Ghost Fishing UK is planning to head to Shetland in August to clean up ‘ghost gear’ from the seas around the isles.

The long-running issue has been raised over the years by local fishermen who are regularly coming across large lost or discarded nets.

The charity will visit Shetland for a week in August, with the volunteer divers due to go on board the Orkney-based MV Valhalla.

This comes at a price though; the total cost of chartering the vessel for the week, including accommodation and food for the divers, is said to be around £11,000.

A fundraiser was set up with a target of £5,000 to go towards the cost, and an anonymous Scottish funder pledged to match any donations.


The target has since been reached – meaning it is all systems go for the charity to head to Shetland.

Charity secretary Christine Grosart said the divers are going to be “paying for everything else”, such as their own travel to Shetland.

“We’ve also asked NorthLink as well for a bit of help,” she said.

Grosart added that haulage company DFDS, which has a Shetland base, has offered to help get the ghost gear back to the mainland for recycling.

Nearer the time the charity will be looking for volunteers to help in the evenings to wash down and sort the retrieved gear.

There is also expected to be public outreach and education events held in Shetland too.

The charity said: “Ghost nets kill untold numbers of animals each year and add to the ocean plastic pollution problem.

“Fishermen have reported that they have been recovering huge lost nets in Shetland that are full of unintended catch. The nets are recognised as not being local to the British Isles.”

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