Project AWARE - Dive Against Debris report
Our team recently completed a reccy dive at Ravenspoint Bay, Holyhead, Wales. A new dive site for Scuba Leeds but definitely one we will be going back to! A lovely spot to complete a Dive Against Debris and removed some trash from our sea. Brilliantly clear water, interesting topography and loads of life - Wrasse, Cod (including lots of baby cod), Tompot Blenny, Groupers and Polycera quadrilineata nudibranchs could easily be spotted. But the biggest surprise of all were the crabs - plenty of them and some big ones too!
As soon as we got into the water, a spider crab was spotted hiding behind the kelp. Spider crabs can be found in across Europe and Britain, but mainly in the south of the UK as they prefer the warmer waters, so we haven't spotted them on our previous Debris dives in the North Sea. With the body of the crab growing up to 20cms across - with claw to claw measures of 50cms in males - it’s easy to see where this crab got its name from! A great find within 3 minutes of our dive starting.
Further along our dive lots of edible crabs and velvet crabs were spotted. Such a lovely sight to see so much marine life in its natural environment.
As is the case with Dive Against Debris dives, it wasn't long before we stumbled across some debris. Fishing wire wrapped tightly around the kelp about a metre from the first spider crab sighting! Our first insight to how this fishing wire can become entwined so easily. With our trusty line cutter, the kelp was freed from its wiry grip.
Regrettably we later came across a dead crab that had become entangled in fishing wire. This really brought home how important it is to remove this debris out of the water as it does cause real harm to life under the water. Towards the end of our dive, we saw a tin can lid half under a rock. Reaching to collect the debris we found this was defended by a crab. Another lesson learnt on why gloves need to be worn for collecting debris. After several attempts it became clear the crab wasn't letting the debris go easy. However, after hovering over the crab for several minutes (which allowed time for a photo), eventual our crab admitted defeat and walked away, leaving the debris to be safely collected. This dive showed how much our debris is interacting with crabs, and that is just one of the species affected. It was a great feeling removing this rubbish, hopefully saving another life from this a sad end because of our trash.