NARC in Action 2016
Distribute updated tackle tips leaflets
Narc working with a range of partners developed some tackle tips leaflets to assist anglers at hotspots where gear is commonly lost. We have updated these for 2016 and circulated to NRW and the National Trust at Stackpole and Martins Haven. For more details Click Here
The Pembrokeshire Sustainable Shellfish Pilot Initiative (PSSPI) is testing voluntary measures to try to improve fishing sustainability within the local potting fleet. It aims to encourage fishermen to incorporate one or more trials within their fishing practices. The pilot allows trialling of gear modifications at no cost to fishermen and incorporation of feedback into final outputs that will be shared widely.
NARC have been happy to build on their existing relations with local fishermen to retrieve lost gear, thereby reducing the potential for ghost fishing. PSSI funded dives on May 14/15 June 11/12/14 July 16/17 Aug 27 and part funded dives on Aug 10/11/12. In total 92 lots pots and netting were recovered with 29 lobsters, 19 crab and 2 fish released. Watch the project video here
Stackpole Quay May 14th
9 volunteer divers braved the 10 degree water temp to kick off the NARC 2016 cleaning season. It was sunny but the SW wind made for a bumpy journey. After some kit issues 6 divers and 5 metre viz greeted the buddies teams. We released one hooked dog fish and one spider crab. Dive 2 was carried out in the Haven on the wreck of the Lochshiel (Whiskey Wreck) where we removed 5 lost lobster pots and some netting.
Lochshiel – 5 lost lobster pots / Netting
St Brides Bay May 15th
11 volunteer divers left Dale in a beautiful sunshine. Handmarks came first to look for some lost post which we couldn’t locate, even after reports from local fishermen. However we did find an anchor which was handed to our local skipper. Marine life included sea slugs, an abundance of fish and octopus. Some lemon cake was shared before dive 2 was carried out at Mill Bay. A lost string of 10 pots was reported to us but we were unable to locate them. However the dive was stunning with lots of marine wildlife. West block house came next and we recovered 3 lost lobster pots. The Collier wreck was the 4th and final dive of the day where 2 pots were bagged and sent to the surface.
West Block House – 3 lost lobster pots
Collier – 2 lost lobster pots
Hobbs Point May 29th
14 volunteers gathered for our first dip of the year at Hobbs Point. Unusually for a bank holiday, the sun was shinning bright in the Pembrokeshire sky. 1-2 meter vis allowed the volunteers to gather the usual array of marine litter that is a common theme at this site. After an average of 45 minutes dive time the lifting bags came thick and fast. Much of the litter we find here seems to be fly tipped which is tragic considering the local tip is approximately a mile away. We handed over weights to some local anglers who were interested in our finds. We released an entangled dogfish and lobster.
13 Divers recorded:
Hobbs Point – 36 weights / 12 lures and a bag of line / 7 bottles/2 cans/rope /banded razor clams/flag/chair/ 2 batteries/scissors / rod stand/6 plastic bottles / oil filter/2 hack saws/mobile phone/marble/rope/wire
Skomer MCZ June 11th
10 volunteers left Dale at 8AM, greeted with a sea state that can only be described as perfect. Leaving port we realised we were missing Wales in the rugby and an historic appearance in the Euros – however there was gear to be found and Dave had baked a fab choc orange cake, so not all bad! After reports of lost pots from Bristol dive club we headed to Castle Bay where 6 divers were greeted with 2-4 m viz. 45 minutes later 5 pots were located and sent to the surface with of them ghost fishing. We released 1 spider crab, 1 squat lobster and some octopus eggs.
Next up 2 divers transfered over to a local fishing boat to dive the Anvil. After 50 mins of searching we came up empty handed – next time! We were then asked to go and assist in a rescue of kayakers in trouble and took 2 wet tourists and their inadequate kayak back to Martins Haven. Dive 3 saw 4 divers dive at Gateholm at a new site for NARC where we bagged 1 lost pot, a tyre, 1 weight and 4 hooks.
Castle Bay – 5 lobster pots
Gateholm – 1 lobster pot/1 tyre / 1 weight/4 hooks
Mid Chanel Rocks – Line/8hooks
10 volunteers left Dale and targeting 3 sites in one day. First up was the Dakotion Wreck with 5 lost pots sent to the surface and returned to the owner. Second up was the Behar were 4 divers found one lost pot. The last dive was the Soldiers were 2 divers found 1 pot and it was returned to the owner.
Dakotion – 5 lost pots
Behar – 1 lost pot
Soldiers – Rock 1 lost pot
Skomer MCZ June 13th
9 volunteers left Dale for Skomer MCZ to look for pots on the Southside as reported by local fishermen. The swell was causing problems again so we headed over to the North of the island where divers covered two sites. The Northside of Middleholm where we located a boat ladder which was lost on a NARC mission 2 years previously. We also found a childs buggy. Rye rocks was the focus of the second dive where we unable to locate reported lost pots. The inner Haven also turned up nothing as bad viz played its part.
MiddleHolm – 1 ladder / 1 pushchair (wheel)
North Wooltack Point – 1 weight / 3 hooks
Dale June 14th
Dale 9 volunteers headed over to Watwick after reports from fishermen. Bad viz and big swells made it impossible to locate the pots. Headed back to Dale and removed a string of 9 whelk pots by Dale moorings for a local fisherman. They were all handed back.
Dale – 9 whelk pots
July 6th -10th
In July and after months of planning NARC were honoured to be invited to Greece by Loutraki Divers to carryout 5 days of underwater clean-up events. NARC inspired the formation of the Greek underwater clean-up group over 3 years ago and because of the link 6 volunteers were happy to pack their dive kit and head for the sunshine. Thanks to the sponsors of Loutraki divers, NARC volunteers were only required to cover their own flight costs and were greeted with what can only be described as amazing hospitality at Athens airport! After checking in we got straight to it. 25 degree water and bath tub viz greeted our first dive in Aoytakpi Harbour. After some team photos and meeting the incredibly friendly and passionate locals we dropped into the warmest NARC dive ever!
The next 5 days we targeted mainly small harbours where sadly, an all too familiar sight was waiting for us. An abundance and array of marine litter that should quite simply, not be in the sea. We released entangled fish and urchins and collected tons of human trash. We left after a great week where we only wished we could have done more. That will have to wait until part two where our leaving promise was a return trip. Loutraki Divers are doing a fantastic job and we swapped underwater knowledge as well as friendship.
Loutraki Harbour – 300 KG of debris
Tolo Harbour – 800 KG of debris
Kaito Harbour – 1800 KG of debris
Kalamia Beach – 200 KG of debris
Andros Wreck – 70 KG of debris
Narc first trip to South Hook Jetty didn’t go quite to plan as we were asked to leave the area for safety concerns. Next up came the Behar where 4 volunteers found 5 lost lobster pots, rope and two weights. 7 divers located and lifted 11 lost pots where a number of shellfish were released. Dale point saw another 2 lost pots on board before given back to local fishermen. Diver released 9 lobsters, 1 brown crab and 5 spider crab.
South Hook Jetty – float handle / 2 wires cables / tarpauline
Behar Wreck – 5 lost pots / 2 weights / rope
Soldier Rock – 11 lost pots
Dale Point – 2 lost pots
7 divers left Dale where four sites left were covered including the Handmarks, East Hook, Monk Haven and Thorn Island. Nothing was located at the first two sites with a block weight, anchor and 1 lost pot collected from the other two sites. At Thorn Island 1 lobster, 2 brown crab and 5 whelks were released from 1 pot.
Monk Haven – Block weight / 1 anchor
Thorn Island – 1 lost pot
The start of 3 days of diving in collaboration with World Animal Protection kicked off with the obligatory August rain falling as we left Dale. 8 volunteer divers and 5 dive sites to target meant a long day at sea, a lumpy sea, which left a few divers with pale faces. Up first came the Handmarks in St Brides Bay where we met up with a local fisherman who provided the information. 4 divers, 20 odd metres of depth and 3 metres of viz gave us a blank to start with highlighting that even with fishermen alongside us it is a challenge to locate lost pots.
Frenchmans Bay was next up with 4 divers locating 4 lost pots and +30 metres of rope. With a fairly challenging current (some crawling on the bottom required) we managed to send the lost pots to the surface knowing a return trip would be essential to retrieve the remaining pots reported lost. Watwick Bay, Castle Bay and Soliders Point were our other reported marks for the day. At Soldiers Bay 3 volunteers recovered 1 lost pot and released 3 lobster and 1 brown crab.
Frenchmans Bay – 4 lost pots / 30m rope/1 pot door
Soldiers Point – 1 lost pot
It was great to once again welcome Chris from World Animal Protection, who joined us on the boat complete with anti seasickness pills, required in the stiff Westerly breeze. We left Dale at 9.30 with sun replacing yesterdays rain and 7 volunteer divers with another 4 marks to explore. First up a return to Soldiers Point where 3 divers lifted 10 pots in over an hours worth of effort. 10 lobster and 3 brown crab were released and it was interesting to note that 9 lobsters were undersize. The landing craft saw us locate trawl net and rope. Frenchmans bay saw 6 pots, 2 lobster and 1 brown crab released.
Divers released 12 lobsters and 3 brown crab and 1 spider crab.
Soldiers Point – 10 lost pots
Landing Craft – 2 metres of rope / 2.5 m trawl net bobbin / 1 sack
Frenchmans Bay – 6 lost pots
6 volunteers were joined by World Animal Protection who funded two days of clean-up diving. First up was Ynys Berry where nothing was found. The second site Dau Fraich where 2 divers found 3 lost pots where we released 1 lobster, 2 brown, crab, 2 spider crab and 1 ballan wrasse. Frenchmans bay saw 6 pots, 2 lobster and 1 brown crab released. Low Point came next where we went back to targeting angling litter with 3 buddy pairs entering the water.
Divers released 1 lobster, 3 brown crab, 2 spider crab, 1 ballan wrasse.
Maen Rhoson – 2 metres of rope / 2.5 m trawl net bobbin / 1 sack
Frenchmans Bay – 6 lost pots
Low Point – 74 weights/ 145 hooks / 1 spinner / 2 lures / line / 1 glass bottle 2 cans
9 volunteers jumped on board for our last boat dive of the season with an ambitions target of 5 dive sites in one day. The wreck of the Lockshield was the first dive of the day where 4 volunteers found 1 lost pot, trawl and gill net. The second dive where 5 volunteers hit a challenging current meant the planned site was not reached.However 1 ink well pot was found and sent to the surface. Mill Bay saw us leave the water and scramble across rocks to a fleet of trapped pots. 90 minutes of hard work cutting free trapped rope saw 7 pots on board. The Behar was next up where 4 divers recovered weights, line, a fin and 1 pot. The final dive saw 4 divers jump in off Great Castle Head and find 3 lost pots
Divers released 1 rockling.
Lockshield – 1 lost pot / 1 sq m of gill net / 1 sq m of trawl net / 1 m plastic piping / 1 plastic pot
St Anns Head – 1 lost pot
Behar – 2 weights/ 12 hooks / 1 pot / 1 handful of line / 2m of rope
Mill Bay – 7 pots
Great Castle Head