Scuba Diving International (SDI) and Sea Shepherd team up to develop and launch the first accredited ‘GHOSTNET RECOVERY’ speciality course
PRESS RELEASE – 16th August 2019
Scuba Diving international are very proud to work with Sea Shepherd UK to develop a’ Ghostnet Recovery’ speciality course. Ghostnets are a huge problem in our oceans. Fishing nets, lines and pots are often lost by fisherman as part of their daily operations. These continue to catch fish and other marine life long after they have been lost. As divers we see the problems that this lost gear causes but we also have the opportunity to get involved in trying to clean up at least some of these lost nets.
The Sea Shepherd UK Ghostnet campaign has been incredibly successful in recovering large amounts of Ghostnets and gear as well as engaging in outreach and education on the issue. More and more divers want to get involved in the project - but there are significant risks in lifting Ghostnets and it is essential that proper training is provided before anyone attempts to lift a net or other lost/discarded fishing gear. By Sea Shepherd teaming up with SDI this allows specially trained instructors to provide a recognised training program which covers all of the surveying, lifting techniques and safety considerations required to perform this activity.
The SDI Sea Shepherd Ghostnet Recovery course has been developed with Sea Shepherd and active SDI instructors involved in the project and formalises the training program that has been delivered to already Sea Shepherd UK’s volunteer divers.
SDI is recognised worldwide and is a member of the WRSTC, RSTC-US, RSTC-Europe. It is accredited by the EUF as meeting all relevant EN and ISO standards. In addition, SDI was heavily involved in the creation of the new ISO standards on ‘Requirements for training on environmental awareness for recreational divers’ and ‘Requirements and guidance on sustainable practices in recreational diving’.
“Sea Shepherd is thrilled to be partnering with Scuba Diving International on this world’s first accredited ‘Ghostnet Retrieval’ speciality course. Our thanks goes especially to Tony Land (Sea Shepherd UK’s Ghostnet Campaign coordinator, dive instructor and technical diver), John Crawshaw (owner of Dive Manchester, SDI/TDI/PADI instructor) who have been working in cooperation with the renowned Mark Powell of DIVE-TECH who is a TDI Instructor, a member of TDI’s Global Training Advisor Panel, represents TDI on the British Diving Safety Group and on the HSE’s Recreational Diving Industry Committee – and is also a member of the Diver Training and Breathing Apparatus committees at the British Standards Institute” - Robert Read, Chief Operating Officer at Sea Shepherd UK
In January 2018 Sea Shepherd UK (marine conservation charity registration number 1110501) launched our Ghostnet Campaign to remove hazardous ghost fishing gear from coastal areas around England, Scotland and Wales.
Once lost or discarded, sections of fishing net and other fishing equipment can drift through the ocean or be left snagged on wrecks, rocks and reefs indiscriminately killing marine wildlife for decades.
Our Ghostnet campaign divers and crew work closely with the Marine Management Organisations and other relevant authorities in England, Scotland and Wales to ensure that ghost fishing equipment is removed safely, legally and without harm to the environment or wildlife.
Assigned year-round to the campaign are Sea Shepherd UK's RIBs:
‘Ghost’ - a twin 115hp engine 7.4m Atlantic 75
‘Phantom’ - a single 115hp engine 5.8m Humber Destroyer
with 'Siren' - a single 90hp engine 5.5m Humber Destroyer (in reserve)
All three boats are fitted with 3D structure scan sonar to pinpoint wrecks and to help identify and locate objects on or above the seafloor.
If you are a diver interested in joining Sea Shepherd UK’s Ghostnet campaign crew and would like to be accredited by SDI on this new speciality, or if you can donate a boat or dive equipment to the campaign - please contact Tony on: [email protected]
The student pre-requisites for the SDI Sea Shepherd Ghostnet Retrieval speciality course are:
- SDI Advanced Adventurer (or equivalent)
- Minimum age 21
- Documented proof of 100 logged dives
Read more about Scuba Diving International (SDI), the Scuba training and certification agency at:
View photos from the campaign at:
Follow the new campaign page on Facebook at:
If you can - please help support Sea Shepherd UK campaigns and boats by donating to our charity at: https://www.seashepherd.org.uk/support-us/donate-monthly.html