South West Wales

Volunteer divers target discarded 'ghost' fishing gear

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Media captionA volunteer diver surfaces with a stray lobster pot

Volunteer environmental divers are carrying out a two-day clean off the Pembrokeshire coast.

Divers from Neptune's Army of Rubbish Cleaners (NARC) are collecting stray fishing equipment, known as ghost gear.

On Thursday, they recovered 17 lobster pots along with fishing nets and rope.

The dives have been funded by the animal welfare charity World Animal Protection UK, which said ghost gear is "a massive global problem" affecting marine life such as dolphins and seals.

Image copyright World Animal Protection UK
Image copyright World Animal Protection UK
Image caption Lobster pots recovered from day one have been returned to the local fishermen

Last year on a similar dive, NARC cleared one tonne of commercial fishing net and 13 lobster pots, 12 of which were still ghost fishing.

The group works closely with fishing communities to locate the best place to dive, including places where pots have been lost during the winter storms.

Christina Dixon, World Animal Protection UK campaigns manager, said: "NARC do an incredible job collecting marine litter and keeping the oceans safe and enjoyable for animals and marine users alike.

"Ghost gear is a massive global problem and our job is to work collaboratively with the fishing industry, environmental groups and policy makers to prevent it happening."

Image copyright World Animal Protection UK

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