First diving expedition to reduce the impact of ghost gear

The Oceanography Centre (OC) and the Scuba Diving Team of the Athletic Centre of the University of Cyprus (UCY), carried out the first diving expedition in the frame of the implementation of action C6 – Reducing the impact of ghost gear in turtles, on December 1st 2017. The diving expedition was carried out by OC-UCY divers and the diving Instructor of the Scuba Diving Team of the Athletic Centre, Yianno Mylona, as well as with the support of the local association of professional fishermen, in the area of Latsi, near the Polis-Gialia Natura 2000 site (CY4000001) in the northwestern part of Cyprus.

The purpose of this diving expedition was to identify the exact locations of abandoned fishing gears (ghost gear) and to begin with their removal. The identification of the locations of ghost gear also stemmed from interviews the OC-UCY team carried out during the summer months with local fishermen and divers.

After removal, the ghost gear will be placed in collection bins that have already been placed in the target areas of this action: the port of Latsi and the fishing shelters of Pomos and Kato Pyrgos. These discarded ghost gear will then be recycled by ENERCO Energy Recovery Ltd, a subcontractor of UCY, and converted to energy.
Ghost gear constitute a serious threat for sea turtles, which can get entangled in them and as a result drown. This action aims to directly benefit the sea turtle populations by reducing the number of incidental entanglement and death of sea turtles in ghost gear.
UCY Press Release
Cyprus mail – Diving mission helps threatened turtles