What is Ghost Gear?
Ghost gear refers to abandoned or lost fishing equipment that lingers in our oceans or washes up on our beaches, haunting marine environments. This gear includes discarded fishing lines, nets, and traps left adrift or forgotten by fishermen. Instead of being responsibly disposed of, these remnants pose a significant threat to marine life, creating a vicious cycle of entanglement and harm. The term “ghost” is aptly applied because this gear continues to “fish” even when left behind, unintentionally trapping and endangering marine creatures. As tides bring this abandoned gear to shorelines, it becomes an eyesore on our beaches, contributing to environmental pollution.
Castaway Ropeworks; Turning Ocean Rubbish into Decorative Knot Work
At Castaway Ropeworks base in Cornwall, they’re more than just eco-conscious – they’re actively making a difference. By focusing on turning ocean rubbish into beautiful knot work, they’re taking the lead in removing and repurposing discarded fishing gear. This clever approach not only tackles the issue of ghost gear but also turns it into eye-catching decorative pieces. Through the perfect blend of creativity and conservation, Castaway Ropeworks plays a role in coastal preservation, showcasing how even discarded materials can be reborn as visually pleasing and sustainable artworks. This initiative embodies a commitment to fostering a balanced coexistence with our oceans, transforming what was once seen as waste into unique and meaningful creations.
Collecting discarded, dirty, slimy, and waterlogged rope from the beach can be an arduous and physically demanding task (this load weighed 296 kg), but as you will see it is well worth it:
Ocean Plait Rope Mat
If you love decorative rope mats, then you will have often seen or even made the Ocean Plait mat, but I think what makes this mat stand out from the rest, is that you can tell that the rope has had a hard previous life. I often find that when creating decorative knot-work, items look better when they have a bit of age or patina to them. I am sure that before making this Ocean Plait mat, Castaway Ropeworks thought long and hard as to which salvaged rope colour combinations to us in making this spectacular mat.One advantage of using Ghost Gear is that it already looks faded and weather-beaten, adding to the overall beauty of the mat.
Knotted Dog Toy
Here we can see how a length of salvaged rope has been turned into a a decorative dog pull type toy. An eye splice has been put in at the top end of the rope and in the bottom section we have the much loved Monkey’s Fist.
An added perk of salvaging ghost gear lies in the discovery of unexpected treasures attached to the lines, like fishing floats. These seemingly discarded items can find a new purpose, as showcased by Castaway Ropeworks, who ingeniously transforms them into practical floating key-rings. Beyond the environmental benefits of removing ghost gear, the process unveils opportunities to repurpose and breathe new life into items that might otherwise go unnoticed. It’s a testament to the creativity and resourcefulness that can emerge from efforts to clean up and repurpose ocean debris.
Castaway Ropeworks Shop
When you shop at Castaway Ropeworks, you’re not just acquiring beautifully crafted items; you’re also playing a vital role in supporting their mission to clean up our seas and shores. Every purchase directly contributes to funding their efforts in removing garbage from our precious marine environments. It’s a meaningful way to indulge in unique, handcrafted pieces while actively participating in coastal conservation. Castaway Ropeworks is not just a shop; it’s a platform where your choices make a positive impact on the health of our oceans. Join in the journey of turning discarded materials into art and contribute to the ongoing mission of preserving our coastal ecosystems.
The Hidden Dangers of Salvaging Ghost Gear
Engaging in the salvage of ghost gear poses hidden dangers that extend beyond the harm to sea life. As evident from the bloodied finger, it’s crucial to be vigilant about potential hazards like fishing hooks during the retrieval process. The risks involved in handling discarded fishing equipment highlight the importance of protective measures and careful attention when working to clean up our coastal environments. While the intention is to mitigate the impact of ghost gear, it’s essential to be aware of the associated dangers and prioritise safety throughout the cleanup efforts.
Another Load of Ghost Gear Salvaged
I bet the legs were aching after dragging this Ghost gear off the beach!
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