Brighton isn't a diving region that I'm familiar with.
It's a bit of a drive from Somerset and the currents and visibility can be even worse than the more westerly reaches of the English Channel.
I knew there was good diving to be had there, I had just never felt motivated to visit.
All that changed when Ghost Fishing UK received dozens of reports from keen and active divers in the region. Furthermore, we were approached by Sussex Wildlife Trust to partake in their 'Wild Coat Sussex' project which centred around Brighton.
Christine, Rich and Fred join Nikki Hills from Sussex Wildlife Trust for a talk about the project
Ghost Fishing UK ran several missions over the summer surveying and recovering mostly lost nets but also plenty of lost crab pots as well. Immensely supportive of the project was Steve Johnson of Channel Diver. Before the team had even arrived, he'd made up some banners for his boat in support of Ghost Fishing UK and Sussex Wildlife Trust. We were truly humbled.
It is so important to support the diving industry who we rely on to keep divers diving and reporting this lost ghost gear.
To date, Ghost Fishing UK has chartered 26 different dive boats around the UK across 142 survey, recovery and training dives.
Even more exciting was that a local fishing trawler heard we were in the area and offered to come and help pull in the lost gear, something we were extremely grateful for.
Ghost Fishing UK has always wanted to work WITH the fishermen on the issue of lost gear. We have never believed that they want to lose it and therefore, pointing the finger of blame in their direction is, well, pointless.
Ghost Fishing UK joins up with Sussex Wildlife Trust in Brighton 2021
I was on camera duty again and thoroughly enjoyed getting some underwater images of the action. It was a pleasure to dive with Kerry and James as they set about cutting up and removing some nasty, snaggy nets on a wreck in about 20 metres of water.
It was a long day and as I drove up to Aberdeen the very next day for work, I parked up in my van and sat up until midnight bashing out a press release for the next morning. It was time and effort well spent as almost every news outlet in the South East picked it up and we were invited for further interviews, news pieces and every journalist in Brighton wanted to come out on the boat with us!
It was great to get out of the admin/trustee/dogsbody chair and get into the water with my camera, doing what I love.
In the news:
South East Today ran with the story...
About the Author
Christine Grosart is a Paramedic, working offshore mainly on diving vessels.
She started beach cleans around 2011 and has gone on to be a trustee, secretary, instructor and underwater photographer for the charity Ghost Fishing UK.
She wrote the first training course for scuba divers to remove lost ghost nets, in the world.
In 2009 she visited the far reaches of Wookey Hole cave and still holds the British female cave diving depth record.
In 2020 she became a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society for her work with Ghost Fishing UK as well as her cave diving exploration. In the same year she was included in the BBC Radio 4 Women's Hour Power List.