Ghost nets recovery in Ustica Marine Protected Area

A number of ghost nets (lost or abandoned fishing gears in seabed) have been spotted in the Marine Protected Area of Ustica, one of the most extraordinary dive sites of the Mediterranean! Recovery operations are needed to preserve marine biodiversity, threatened by the ghost nets which continue to trap and kill. This project is run by the skilled team of Mare Nostrum diving, in collaboration with the Marine Protected Area of Ustica island, the municipality and the fishermen community.

Watch the trailer of the ghost nets spotted in Ustica. Professional divers will remove them in the coming months!

First ghost nets recovery operations have taken place at Punta Falconiera and Punta San Ferlicchio in the marine protected area of Ustica island. Mare Nostrum Diving and local fishermen have already removed over 150kg of nets lost in the sea, contributing to restore sea habitats to their natural condition.

**JULY 2023 UPDATE**

Over 350 kg of Ghost Nets have been recovered so far. The sites of Punta Falconiera, Punta San Ferlicchio, Secca della Colombara and Scoglio del Medico are now been freed from lost or abandoned fishing nets, releasing trapped species and habitats from these silent killers. Whereby nets were colonised by encrusting marine organisms losing their catching efficiency, these were purposefully not removed to avoid causing any damage to the ecosystem.
Students from the Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences Department of the University of Catania added a valuable research component to the project, conducting a study on the fauna associated with ghost nets and an evaluation of their impact on the marine environment. Great team work!
The project aimed at recovering ghost nets in Ustica island is coming to an end!500kg of ghost nets were collected by Mare Nostrum Diving in collaboration with the MPA and local fishermen.
****NOVEMBER 2023 UPDATE****
USTICA GHOSTNETS by Stefano Coco/ Riccio Blu has been released! The documentary, produced together with Ustica Marine Protected Area, introduces the project led by Mare Nostrum Diving in cooperation with Area Marina Protetta “Isola di Ustica” and local fishermen, with the support of Sicily Environment Fund.
Watch the documentary and meet our local environmental champions and learn from them about the threats posed by ghost nets and what has been done to safeguard marine ecosystems in Ustica.