ATHENS (Reuters) – Divers removed half a ton of discarded fishing gear covering an English submarine, which in 1941 attempts to protect the Greek island of Kefalonia as well as the region’s loggerhead sea turtles, dolphins and monk seals Was drowned by other debris.
Kefalonia, Greece, on July 23, 2020, near the WWII wreck of the HMS Perseus, fishing lifting bags are attached to the fishing net, which is associated with the work of former group divers, the environmental group. July 23, 2020 via REUTERS
Lost fishing nets – known as “ghost nets” – often wrapped around the ship turn into death nets for marine life.
The Healthy Seas initiative, which conducted the operation, said millions of animals die each year after being trapped in nylon gear.
Last week, Greek and Dutch volunteers dived 52 meters into the water between the islands of Kefalonia and Zakynthos to remove tangled webs around HMS Peresus, one of the largest submarines of World War Two and a cultural battle site.
The cleaning mission focused on the conical tower of the submarine and the outer hull in the front.
“Underwater cleanups lasted for five days, targeting other debris in the area, at a depth of 50 meters and reducing the total weight of fishing gear to 500 kg,” said Healthy Seuss.
The recovered nets will be regenerated together with other nylon waste and will be used to produce socks, swimwear and carpets.
A similar cleanup campaign was carried out last year by another organization.
HMS Perseus crashed into a mine in December 1941. Its only surviving survivor, the British Navy stocker John Capas, made it to the surface to reach Kefalonia and rode miles away in the dark, where he was sheltered and hid by the islanders for over a year.
The wreck was located in 1997 by Greek divers.
Reporting by Phoebe Fronista and Renee Maltezzo; Editing by Gareth Jones