Rendezvous Diving

Country Canada
Started 2012

Rendezvous Dive Adventures and the Department of Fisheries and oceans have been working together to remove derelict fishing gear from reefs and other structures in Barkley Sound. On occasion commercial fishermen unintentionally snag their nets on reefs. As not many vessels have divers on board who are equipped to help out, pulling nets using engine power is the only option and is not always successful. It has been observed that nets too entangled to free have had the floats cut loose and are then left abandoned on the seafloor and floating in the water column, unreported.This is not only unacceptable from a moral point of view, but the nets pose a real risk for other water users and the gear continues to fish unintended species of fish, invertebrates, birds and marine mammals. Scuba divers who visits reefs and other structures all year round are especially at risk when they are not aware that nets are left in the area. Last year divers were surprised on two occasions and luckily nobody got hurt. However a recent incident in the harbour of Port Alberni where a fatal entanglement in a net took place underlines the risk and potential liabilities that may result from non reported derelict gear. In order to deal with the derelict gear and to reduce risks for other water users as well as consequences for the environment, Rendezvous Dive Adventures has set up a volunteer diver program that can deal with some of the derelict fishing gear stuck on reefs and other structures. In the case of gear stuck or lost Rendezvous Dive Adventures or the local DFO office can be contacted to report the situation. Although in a lot of cases immediate intervention is not an option, planning and coordination with parties involved can help to get the gear off as soon as possible. The information needed would be an exact GPS position, the type of gear, the length of the gear lost and the depth at which the gear is stuck. Although this program does have its limitations, last year two gill nets were successfully and completely removed. The program is funded by the sales of the DVD “Kelp and Critters” and run by volunteer divers. Please help us by reporting lost gear to your local DFO office (250 720 4440) or directly to Rendezvous Dive Adventures. (250 735 5050).