The group of volunteers from the ‘Stichting Duik de Noordzee Schoon’ took a nine-day diving expedition and removed a huge amount of junk
As reported in the Friesch Dagblad, around 500 kilos of the total can be tracked back to containers that fell off the MSC Zoe earlier this year.
The members of the expedition began on 7 September and dived between Ameland and Schiermonnikoog, two of the Wadden Islands, and a place with plenty of shipwrecks that have formed new habitats for sea life. A large amount of refuse in that area has also been caught up in the wrecks.
Divers from the foundation returned to shore with, amongst other things, clothing, kitchenware; suitcases, carpets, childrens toys; and automotive parts, as well as so-called ‘ghost netting’ leftover by fishing activities. “Divers gathered up everything that was clearly not meant to be in our sea”, said a representative of the foundation.
That so much of the junk that was gathered from the Wadden Sea can be traced back to the MSC Zoe shows an alarming need for action, says the foundation. “Really, if that doesn’t happen quickly, it will begin to become impossible to retrieve items, as everything will sink into the sand.”
The divers had expected that most of the junk would gather around the shipwrecks, but that hasn’t turned out to be the case. Due to the rubbish being spread out on the sea floor, collecting all of it is becoming more difficult.
Around 47 of the 342 containers that fell overboard from the MSC Zoe are still unaccounted for. Last week, around 15 organisations, including the Wadden Association and the Foundation for the North See, wrote to the MSC shipping line to try and get it to move forward with the compensation promised.