Divers 2024 program

Ghost Diving

Pascal van Erp
Cor Kuyvenhoven



Stage 1

This is what you can expect

From Passion to Mission
Pascal van Erp, who started diving lessons in 2005, quickly discovered the impact of lost fishing gear on the North Sea. His experiences wreck diving and confronting undersea debris led to a deeper commitment to marine environmental protection.

Founded by Ghost Diving
Ghost Diving, originally Ghost Fishing, was founded after Van Erp's many years of efforts with 'Duik De Noordzee Schoon'. This organization focuses on removing lost fishing nets and raising awareness about the problem of 'ghost fishing'. The team consists of technical divers, who follow strict training and safety standards.
The Problem of Lost Fishing Gear
Van Erp emphasizes the seriousness of the problem of lost fishing gear in the North Sea. These nets continue to catch fish and pose a major threat to marine life. He emphasizes that removing these nets is essential.

Salvage and Reuse
Ghost Diving mainly uses lift bags to recover nets. The collected nets are removed and recycled, often in collaboration with the Healthy Seas Foundation and other partners, who reuse the nylon for new products.

International Expansion
Ghost Diving is now active in 19 countries. The organization grew into an international network of diving teams committed to the removal of underwater waste.

Relationship with Fishermen and Safety
Initially, Ghost Diving encountered resistance from fishermen, but over time there has been greater understanding and cooperation. Safety is a core aspect of their operations, with teamwork and standardized procedures at its core.

Contributions as a Diver
Van Erp emphasizes that not only diving skills, but also teamwork and the ability to operate in difficult conditions, are crucial for participation in Ghost Diving projects.

Modern Techniques and Collaboration
Ghost Diving uses drones for research and collaborates with organizations such as Deep Trekker and MIRMI. They also work with local partners and other environmental groups.
Proud of Project Journey to Ithaca
In 2021, Ghost Diving removed 76 tons of waste from a destroyed aquaculture on Ithaca, a project that impressed the local community and the Greek government.

Presentation on Duikvaker
During Duikvaker, Van Erp will provide insight into Ghost Diving's working methods, their recent projects, and how they carry them out safely.

About Ghost Diving and Healthy Seas
Ghost Diving has grown into an umbrella organization with 19 chapters worldwide. Their ship, MAKO, is used for activities in the North Sea. Healthy Seas focuses on the reuse of salvaged materials, divided into recycling, upcycling and regeneration.

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Cor Kuyvenhoven Highres

Pascal van Erp

Information Ghost Diving
The Ghost Diving Foundation is the umbrella organization behind 19 chapters. Some of these chapters are also like us, an entity, usually a foundation or non-profit organization. We are active all over the world, even in countries where no chapter is active. Our projects are usually devised based on information about locations where problems have arisen due to lost fishing gear. Our own boat MAKO is a motorized dual-motor catamaran and is used for activities on the North Sea.

Health Seas
Within Healthy Seas we can divide the reuse of materials into three categories: Recycling, Upcycling and Regeneration. The first is the reuse of the raw materials. Usually shredded or fused, the second means that the fishing gear is reused in its original form in an alternative product. In the third, the material (Nylon) is returned to its original base using a chemical process and new yarn is then made from it.

Information Duikvaker 2023

Opening hours

February 1, 2025 from 10am - 6pm

February 2, 2025 from 10am - 5pm

Expo Houten
Meidoornkade 24
3992 AE Houten

Duikvaker is organized by The Exhibition Company

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