The Team

The Netherlands

Ghost Fishing Headquarters

Pascal van Erp

Pascal is a GUE trained technical diver with a strong preference for wreck diving. He made hundreds of dives all over the world, during these dives, he encountered lost- and abandoned fishing gear and the sad and severe consequences for the life under water. Since he is co-founder of a Dutch North Sea cleanup project in 2009 he became driven by the removal of lost gear in the North Sea. Based on his experience and specific vision on diving operations related to environmental issues, Pascal decided in 2012 to dedicate his diving exclusively to environmental protection and started the Ghost Fishing Foundation — an international non-profit executed by volunteer technical divers which initiates, supports and promotes lost fishing gear removal initiatives. Nowadays they run lost fishing gear survey and removal projects in the North Sea, Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Caspian Sea, Pacific Ocean and Scapa Flow.

Bas Poelmann

Bas has been diving since 1993 is is certified as NAUI Tech 2 and JJCCR mod2 diver. As a professional survival at sea instructor, Bas is responsible for the safety during ghost net removal missions at sea. Bas has contributed to ghost gear removal missions in the Adriatic, German and Dutch north sea and Northern Scotland. Besides looking after the safety of the volunteers, Bas also co-organizes the seasonal clean up days on the Dutch north sea and video documents the action under water.

Greece

Ghost Fishing Greece

Giorgos Kolikis

Giorgos is coordinator for Ghost Fishing Greece and a professional video editor. He is diving since 2012 and very active in all corners of the Greek seas. He is PADI and CMAS trained and a attending Ghost Fishing missions since 2014. His task underwater is shooting videos, if you notice our amazing video compilations there is a big chance he is behind it. Besides Ghost Fishing he is also active in the Vouliagmeni lake cavern mapping project in Greece.

Lebanon

Ghost Fishing Lebanon

Imad Farhat

Imad has been in the technical diving field for more than 8 years, trained with a multitude of highly respected diving agencies such as Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) and Technical Diving International (TDI), with major interests in marine conservation spectrum’s and underwater photography/videography. With the elevated sightings of lost fishing gear, entangled fishing nets on reefs and wrecks scattered around the Lebanese coast and dive sites, causing direct and indirect hazardous situations to marine life and divers as well, something had to be done, thus why the collaboration was established with Ghost Fishing HQ to shape and launch operation Ghost Fishing Lebanon in 2016.

Malta

Ghost Fishing Malta

Steve Wilkinson

Steve is a professional technical diving trimix OC & CCR instructor with a passion for deep wreck exploration and conservation. Based in Malta for the last 6 years he has been a part of many expeditions and acted as Dive Safety Officer for the University of Malta Archaeology team on the Phoenician, ORP Kujawiak & HMS Olympus projects. Joining the Ghost Fishing team in October 2017 on our dives prior to the Our Ocean conference, it was clear that his dedication to the underwater environment was an asset to be utilized to form Ghost Fishing Malta. In just three days we managed to remove 500kg of nets & lines. Steve is in a unique position as he manages to dive the Maltese wrecks and reefs on a near daily basis and can identify areas of concern.

New Zealand

Ghost Fishing New Zealand

Rob Wilson

Rob is the Ghost Fishing New Zealand founder and driving force behind the group. Rob is a professional photographer, with a passion for diving. Rob’s diving qualifications reflect his personality – dedicated, focused and driven. He is a certified diver since 1986 and now a GUE trained technical diver. Involvement with GUE has lead Rob to being able to participate in four dive expeditions including the Blue Creek Resurgence team and more recently, a recent Project Baseline trip to Fiji working with scientific divers and a dedicated Submarine to document the reefs around Fiji. Rob has dived extensively in New Zealand and Fiji, the Hawaiian Islands, Africa, Indonesia, Japan and Tonga.

Spain

Ghost Fishing Costa Brava

Raúl Álvarez

Raúl is GUE diver, instructor, explorer, coordinator and director of Ghost Fishing Spain. In 2012 his passion for diving led him to start his own dive center, KrakenDive, located comfortably right at the shore in Tossa de Mar, Costa Brava. From that base he organizes and participates in compelling marine conservation projects like Ghost Fishing and Project Baseline, both of which are the principal mode of training for their students. One of his strengths is teaching and passing on safe diving practices, conservation and respect for the marine environment. Everyday his hope is to contribute his grain of sand towards ensuring that environmental protection prospers.

United Kingdom

Ghost Fishing UK

Rich Walker

Rich is founder and coordinator of Ghost Fishing UK. He is also a diving instructor for Global Underwater Explorers, and sits on their Board of Advisors. He has been diving since 1991 and has completed over 3000 dives. He has a passion for wreck diving, and has explored wrecks from Narvik in the Arctic Circle, through to HMS Repulse in the South China Sea. On almost all of these wrecks, evidence of lost fishing gear can be seen. It ranges from large trawl nets, to small lobster pots right through to small hooks and lures. His recent activity has been focused around collecting data on ghost gear locations around the UK, and mobilizing the team to retrieve the gear. This involves obtaining the correct licenses and permission from the Marine Management Office, coordinating the diving logistics and teamwork, and organizing disposal and recycling routes for the retrieved fishing gear.

United States

Los Angeles Underwater Explorers

Heather Hamza

Heather has been diving since 1993, originally certified in New York. After diving there for many years she moved to the west coast, and started diving in Southern California with her diving team Los Angeles Underwater Explorers. Heather became interested in GUE technical diving in 2009, and is now trained in cave and technical wreck diving.. She began cleaning up ghost nets in 2010 and it wasn’t too long until she was recruiting teams and organizing trips. Heather loves all kinds of diving- recreational, technical, cave- but her favorite dives involve helping the ocean & protecting her treasures.