Articles

Ghost Fishing

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During a dive on September 5th near the Old Wall reef, I picked up a piece of mono-filament netting. It was a clear example of ‘Ghost Fishing’. Next to the net were the remains of at least one spider crab, trapped in the net was another spider crab. The first crab probably got caught in the netting and eventually died, the next crab came to eat it. The next crab got caught and would have died if we hadn’t cut it free it. This may have been happening for years already, crabs and fish dying needlessly. The net had rolled around and become a ball of net, it may have travelled a long distance over it’s time in water, killing indiscriminately on it’s path. The net was recovered and it’s killing spree is over.

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Tidal Estuaries

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In Falmouth we have a couple of tidal estuaries, the biggest is the Carrick Roads. It is the end of the Fal River and is roughly one mile wide and three miles long, it has lots of tributaries such as the Percuil River by St Mawes. The Helford River is the other tidal estuary and is just around the corner but is nowhere near as big.

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NAS Underwater Archaeology Photography Course

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Nautical Archaeological Societies Underwater Archaeology Photography Course

Over the last couple of years I had completed both the Nautical Archaeological Societies Intro and Part I courses. The next level, the Part 2, is a self run project using the skills learned during the Intro and Part 1 courses. The Nautical Archaeological Societies Underwater Archaeology Photography Course is a Part 3 course, to complete Part 3 you need to undertake several courses to build your points. These can be completed at any time after the Intro course. After seeing the Underwater Archaeology Photography Course would be running, I decided it would be a useful course and would also start my Part 3 points collection.

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Juvenile lobster releases

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Scuba Divers have released over 300 juvenile lobsters onto the Manacles Reef.

A volunteer team of six scuba divers, organised by Mark Milburn of Atlantic Scuba, collected over 300 juvenile lobsters from the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow. They then transported them by boat from Mylor Yacht Harbour to the Manacles Reef, where they were to be released into the wild. The lobsters were taken underwater to the sea bed by the volunteer divers, then carefully released into areas where they are known to thrive. Mark Milburn of Atlantic Scuba said he thought the Manacles was an ideal place for the juvenile lobsters to be released, eventually benefiting both the fishing and diving community.

The day had started off with a phone call from the regional BDMLR co-ordinator at 7am, there was a dolphin stranded on Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth. A woman called Cherilyn had seen the dolphin around 6 – 6:15am, she entered the water to help it. 45 minutes later she was joined by two joggers, then the MCA were contacted and they contacted BDMLR. Everything was done to help, even a 30 minute re-float but the dolphin didn’t respond. It was a sad end.

Since this press release was issued, we have made three more trips our with the baby lobsters.

1,100 were released on the Old Wall Reef

1,200 were released on the Hera Wreck

450 were released on the Volnay Wreck

The National Lobster Hatchery said they are happy with our efforts and we will continue to release baby lobsters, throughout the foreseeable future.

Over the years we have continued to release more and more, as of 01/01/2016, we have released in excess of 20,000 juvenile lobsters.

The Camera Story

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Over the last few days, 18-21 September 2012, there has been a lot of media coverage over a camera I found while diving. There were some slight inaccuracies within the stories, so I thought I’d tell the story from my view.

During a previous dive in the Helford River I had found a small upturned boat about 4.5m long, the current was too strong that day to study it. Myself and my buddy, Ben Palmer, went for a dive to try and find the boat at slack water around the end of July 2012. Whilst swimming around I came across a black case, my immediate thought was it would make a nice spare mask case. On opening the case I realised it was a camera case with a camera inside it, I placed it into my drysuit pocket.

 

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Gyllyngvase Beach, Underwater Beach clean-up.

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After the success of the Swanpool Beach underwater litter pick, we decided to do it again. Gyllyngvase Beach was the next chosen location. We set up an event on Facebook and once again had a great response. This event was going to be a little more ‘low key’ than the last one, no BBC Radio Cornwall interview and we never told the local newspapers either. We did speak to the Gyllyngvase Beach Cafe manager and the RNLI Beach lifeguards to let them know what was going on.

Fifteen divers turned up, kitted up and entered the water, Ruth stayed on the shore keeping track of us.

 

Divers were equipped with a surface marker buoy and carried a ‘goody’ bag, an empty net bag to put any debris in. They covered the reef and sea bed in search of anything that doesn’t belong. Anything that was colonised or had become ‘part of the reef’ was left.

After just over an hour and the divers were back on shore. 16.1kg’s of rubbish was recovered, categorised and recorded. The info is due to be sent to the Marine Conservation Society and Project Aware.

 

Well done and thanks to the volunteers.

Heritage Open Day – National Maritime Museum

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Watching breakfast TV one morning, Martin Lewis the money saving expert, mentioned the Heritage Open Days. I checked on-line to find that the National Maritime Museum were offering a ‘behind the scenes’ look at things in the stores. A quick email and we were booked in, we even had a free car park pass.

The tour started in the boat store, a collection of close to a hundred boats on rack in various conditions. Father’s Day was a tiny ‘boat’ that, at the time, had the record for the smallest boat to cross the Atlantic in 1993.

 

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Swanpool Beach, Falmouth, Cornwall, UK – Underwater Beach clean-up.

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Recently we organised a ‘get together shore dive’ from the Silver Steps on Pendennis, we advertised it on Facebook and had quite a few turn up. Whilst thinking of a follow up we did a dive at Swanpool Beach.

 

Swanpool is one of our favourite dives for teaching and completing guided dives, it’s easy access and quite shallow. Swimming along the reef we noticed some litter, we usually find golf balls but there was a collection of rubbish. read more →

Egyptian Live-aboard 2011

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We all met up at Gatwick, some we knew, some we didn’t, yet. The flight was delayed an hour late leaving Gatwick but the terminal was clear when we reached Hurghada, so no real delay. We jumped onto the coach and it to us, down some dodgy roads, to the harbour where our boat was berthed. We had a quick walk around the harbour and bars before heading back to the boat for an early night, we had started very early that morning from Cornwall. read more →

Protection of Military Remains Act 1986

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The Military Remains Act effects divers who may find themselves on a wreck which is designated by the act, whether they know it or not. This reproduction of the Act is for information to all divers for their own protection. A diver has just been fined for removing a porthole from a wreck that had been designated – Diver fined. Wrecks are being watched.  

Protection of Military Remains Act 19861986 CHAPTER 35An Act to secure the protection from unauthorised interference of the remains of military aircraft and vessels that have crashed, sunk or been stranded and of associated human remains; and for connected purposes.- [8th July 1986]

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

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