DWS has supported Healthy Seas since 2019, and as a result several sea clean-ups were organized in Europe in co-operation with Ghost Diving, one of the founding partners of Healthy Seas. DWS decided to donate to the organisations this year instead of buying end-of-year gifts for its clients.
With the donation, Healthy Seas was able to buy its first own boat, which will be operated by Ghost Diving volunteers. The boat is now docked in the Dutch port of IJmuiden and will increase the organizations’ efforts to free the world's oceans from so-called ghost nets and save the lives of countless marine plants and animals. It has already achieved a great deal during this time with numerous salvage missions in various waters.
Pieter Furnée, Head of DWS Benelux, says: “We really wanted to intensify the partnership with the organization. So, we decided to not send end of the year gifts to our clients and instead donated the dedicated amount to Healthy Seas. This will ensure the organization can plan its future recovery missions with more flexibility and independence. We are very happy with the enormous amount of positive feedback we received from our clients on this special donation. DWS has always been an advocate for tackling environmental issues. Not only plastic is killing our marine life. Ghost fishing gear is haunting our oceans at a greater scale than most people realise.”
MAKO – A shark that fights ghost fishing
The boat is named ‘MAKO’, inherited from its previous owner and which was kept because it is considered bad luck to rename a boat. MAKO turned out to be the perfect name for this ghost net recovery boat as scientific research shows that mako sharks are among the creatures at the most risk of getting entangled in ghost fishing gear.
The MAKO is a Swiftline Swiftcat, which was built in 2010 and is nearly 11 metres long and four metres wide. It is powered by two Steyr 256hp diesel inboard engines, and has two 500-litre fuel tanks for extended range.
Veronika Mikos, Director of Healthy Seas says: “The MAKO will serve multi functionally as a means for Ghost Diving volunteers to carry out surveys and recoveries of lost nets but also by taking part in events to engage fishermen in ghost net prevention activities. Furthermore, it will be used for awareness raising and educational purposes and overall help us become more efficient in our operations by increasing the number of the diving trips per year significantly. Having our own boat is a dream come true!”
DWS and Healthy Seas want to raise more public awareness for the problem of lost or deliberately discarded fishing nets in the oceans. This collaboration should result in a sustainable contribution to the protection of the oceans and their creatures. With a boat crowned with a name like MAKO, it’s only fair that it’ll steam ahead in breaking the ghost fishing entanglement cycle and try to prevent any sharks and other creatures to fall prey to this marine life tragedy.