Net Missions: Tolcarne Beach, Newquay
LARGE TRAWLER NET WASHES UP ON THE BEACH IN CORNWALL
On a relatively quiet Friday afternoon we received a tip off via our report a net page about a large trawler net that had washed up on Tolcarne Beach in Newquay and was buried deep under the sand.
When you sign up to work with Waterhaul it's almost unwritten that you need to be ready to drop everything at short notice and head off to drag in nets off the beach before they get washed out again by the tides. Today was no different and Harry, Gavin, Hettie & Kieran leapt into action, spending a couple of hours digging the net out of the sand with the help of some local workmen who were working on the beach at the time.
Discarded fishing gear and ghost nets are the most common and also the most lethal forms of plastic in our ocean. In a phenomenon known as ‘ghost fishing’, the entangled and trapped marine life will attract more species, resulting in an ongoing loop of catches. As these discarded nets are produced from plastic, they will not degrade, persisting in the ocean to catch and kill marine life indefinitely.
Harry Dennis, Waterhaul CEO said: “We founded Waterhaul as frustrated marine conservationists - every winter our beaches in Cornwall are inundated with ghost gear and we were finding lines and offcuts daily. This was a large, heavy net that took the team a lot of time and effort to recover, having to dig it out of the sand and then drag it up the cliffs. However we cannot leave nets like these on the beaches to cause more damage than they already have.”
"When you sign up to work with Waterhaul it's almost unwritten that you need to be ready to drop everything at short notice and head off to drag in nets off the beach before they get washed out again by the tides and today was no different."
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This net was so heavy and it washed up on the beach at a time when the news was reporting that 2 of the world's largest supertrawlers were fishing off of the Cornish coast. This may have been a coincidence of course, but you cannot help but wonder due to the sheer size and weight of it.
Thanks to a great team effort we recovered the net from the beach and made the slow and steady journey back up the cliffs dragging the net in tow. We always find more nets in the winter as the larger swells and storms bring them inshore. Not the Friday afternoon we had planned, but the pub will still be there next week!
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