In may, members of the ESPS dive team had a unique opportunity to collaborate as part of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) with several NGO's on a net removal project close to home. Over two days our group went out into the southern waters of the Salish Sea just off of Pender Island to remove a salmon seine net that was lost over 30 years ago. This net, which was approximately 25,000 square metres was draped over an ocean pinnacle at an average depth of 80 feet. Over the years it had entangled countless marine animals as well as destroyed crucial habitat essential for maintaining a healthy ecosystem.
After two days of hard work we recovered over 4,500 pounds of the lost net. Unfortunately even after two removal projects (the Northwest Straits Initiative removed 12,500 square metres of the net in a previous project) pieces of the net still remain on the pinnacle. This project goes to show what we are up against, one lost net can potentially take several challenging and dangerous days to recover...its a dirty job but someone has to do it!