Strandloper Project

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Read about our Ghost fishing awareness program and other environmental educational and research on our Blog

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Strandloper Project
Finding a solution for recreational fishing pollution

 

Dive crewAs the impact of human activities on the environment percolates from research to public discussion there has been a global focus on the degradation of marine environments. Plastic pollution has galvanized public focus, initiating mass action to reduce consumption of single use plastics and implement reusable alternatives.
Hidden in the discussion is the fact that over 40% of plastic pollution in the oceans is composed of lost fishing gear. Sadly lost and abandoned fishing continues to ‘fish’ and is able to catch marine animals in a process known as Ghost Fishing.

Though attention and research is focused on commercial fishing activities, little research has been conducted on the contribution that snagged recreational shoreline fishing tackle makes to ghost fishing.

To address the impact of recreational fishing on biodiversity the Strandloper Project is studying ghost fishing and reef damage caused by shore based activities. Read More

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Ghost Fishing

Ghost fishing is defined as the ability for lost fishing gear to continue catching and killing fish. Most of the research on ghost fishing focuses on the impact of industrial fishing, such as trawling and long lining, when gear is lost with little attention or research placed on the impact of recreational surf fishing. Research has shown that a snagged fishing hook has the latent ability to 'ghost fish' up to 10 fish before it disintegrates. The ramifications on inshore fishing stocks is severe.

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Cleaning up the Reef

Based in the Garden Route, South Africa, our clean up dive program is arranged on a volunteer basis with dives scheduled when sea and weather conditions are ideal.

All diving is free diving in depths of 2m to 8m. To date we have dived on three site which have become regular transects.

We currently dive at Gericke's Point, Paquita Wreck and in Kingfisher Creek with plans t extend to Plettenberg Bay and Mossel Bay

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Coastal Survey Hike

In an effort to measure the amount of snagged fishing tackle and to raise awareness of the threat of ghost fishing as a result of recreational fishing in the Garden Route, a group of locals will be embarking on a 10 day hike between Stilbaai and Wilderness.

In line with the original modern humans of the region the hikers will forage one daily meal from the intertidal zone.

A support vehicle will provision the hikers with water at evening stopovers..

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