In January this year, the Portland Harbour Wrecks Project teamed up with Ghost Fishing UK to run a winter warmer weekend, involving new and existing project divers. Despite the challenging conditions, four boatloads of divers met in Portland to learn more about Project Baseline and Ghost Fishing UK.

Forty-five keen divers gathered on a Saturday morning for a day of PB work. Two of the boats headed to existing sites being monitored by the team, the other two headed to wrecks being considered for future monitoring. On the existing sites, the teams surveyed the wrecks to identify any changes as well as removing the old Secchi Disks that were no longer usable. The new members of the team were introduced to simple gas planning and team diving techniques and also took visibility measurements in support of the project. At the new sites, divers surveyed the wrecks and began to make sketches of the sites. They also identified suitable locations for Secchi Disks should they be selected for monitoring. All of the divers also attempted to identify flora and fauna at the sites.

During the evening attendees were treated to presentations on Project Baseline, Ghost Fishing Uk and Seasearch. These presentations prompted interesting discussions and have hopefully initiated some new affiliations, particularly with Seasearch Uk. Seasearch employ citizen divers to monitor seabed conditions around the UK, ideal work for PB divers. Finally, the representatives from PB, GFUK and Seasearch sat a Q&A panel, giving participants and people online, the opportunity to ask questions.

On Sunday it was time for some Ghost Fishing instruction. Owing to the weather we couldn’t go diving, so the GFUK team ran a number of workshops for prospective project divers. These included stage bottle rigging, surveying techniques and lifting procedures. They also discussed the licensing requirements for lifting Ghost Fishing gear.  

Photo Credits: Christine Grosart (first and second images).

James Edgar (third image)  

Submitted by: Marcus Rose