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Donate to Foundation North Sea Cleanup now possible online

Sometimes you have to make it easy. That’s why it’s from now on possible to donate online.
Very simple via Ideal or PayPal. By the way ,did you know that our bank is one of the leading banks where it concerns sustainability ?


To donate is possible with a number of fixed amounts ,but ofcourse you can also choose the amount yourself .Payment will happen via Ideal or PayPal. We make use of an external payment provider in order that we always handle your payment in a safe way.

If you prefer to donate via your standard online way of banking,that also is possible


Sustainable banking has our preference.
As a foundation with idealistic targets we were looking for a bank possibly with a high degree of the same idealism. Doing so we came out at Triodos Bank.This bank only does business with organisations that support a healthy environment and nature. We can mention sustainable energyprojects, but also biological agriculture as well as recycling and projects in connection with natural conservation. North Sea Cleanup fits very well in the last category! That's why our choice was clear.

To check where and how you can donate? Click here

The jackpot with a hydraulic grab

A weekend at sea with Ghost Fishing ,North Sea Cleanup and Healthy Seas to ‘catch nets’. Turns out to be the Jackpot!
Annet van Aarsen was there


Skipper Gert is proudly standing in the wheelhouse of the Bela. ‘What a good worker’ he smiles pointing to the grab on the deck. ‘The first time I worked with it ,I continued for 30 hours ,so much fun!

Originally he was a fisherman, but now he is a captain on a tugboat. The weekend of 25 and 26 October he makes a special trip. He is helping Henk de Bloeme ,from the salvage vessel Bela at Stellendam and the North Sea Cleanup initiative. The target is the Peepotwreck, in the centre of te North Sea, to free it from a lot of beamernets and gillnets.

The Ghost Fishing diveteam already had spent a lot of energy without much result, too big, too much and too heavy to cut it loose and bring it up in one dive. Now the people behind North Sea Cleanup, Healthy Seas and Ghost Fishing combine their efforts to do the job. And as we are at sea with a strong capable vesse like the Bela, we investigate at the same time a few unknown wrecks.

Saterdaymorning at about nine we are situated right over the ‘Peepotwreck’. At the Starboardside goes a huge anchor overboard. At the Portside goes the hydraulic grab. Via the underwatercameras and the monitors in the wheelhouse is clearly visible when the grab reaches the seabottom close to the shipwreck, at a depth just over thirty meter. The water is cristalclear, at the monitors are nets visible right away.
‘Lets grab them’ , says Henk de Bloeme.

Read the whole article? Klik hier

(This article is published in a dutch magazine. Therefore the link will go to the original article on a dutch website)

The (likely) last expedition of 2014 with Healthy Seas

And what kind of an expedition ! More successfull than this ,is that possible? Yes we can !We are going to prove that the next season.

Friday 24 oktober 2014 / Zaterdag 25 oktober 2014
Contrarary to the previous trip, we sail even later this time. We can only sail out at high tide and that is now 04.03 in the middle of the night in between Friday and Saturday. Wow! That’s going to be a short sleep.

03.00 : My alarm sqeaks and my body is asking why it needs to start moving. Do I have to get up? No, not absulutely. To linger is also not an option as I need some video footage when we are going to depart from the quay and begin the trip.

Here we go!

What is the plan and where we are going to?
We go direction ‘Peepotwreck’ Wellknown amongst us divers. This wreck is about 36 nautical miles from Stellendam and so we can still sleep a while.

Once arrived at this wreck we can make a nice scan, thanks to the smooth weather. And we are arriving at the good moment of the tidechange to begin right away.

From several divers we heard that this wreck is literally covered with lost fishingnets. Nevertheless its always a surprise what you meet in reality. The moment the grab goes over the side and the first pictures appear at the monitors come in sight is always exiting.

The moment the first grab comes up is nevertheless shocking because the mess we are seeing.

Snap of the first grab….

The first grabfull is very promising. What a mess we get up! Tears come up in your eyes. Just one location in the middle of North Sea and then the first grab load of ‘garbage’ comes up, it indicates how big the problem really is. The same picture, grab after grab, we take up lots of lost fishing gear. Not only lost nets, but also complete beams, that are the tubular beams that keep the nets open when being trawled over the bottom of the sea, including lots of chains. The chains were used to disturbe the bottomfish to swirl up to be caught in the net. It’s altogether a good indication for the size of the problem in the North Sea and in the rest of the seas wordwide.

At the end of the salvageday our deck is full with nets and iron from the beam and chains,it all went very smooth. That this wreck was littered with nets is an understatement, its was literally buried under nets. We are sure we did a very good job not a lot of words and a little nets
But a lot of nets with little words. Finally we see more and more of the shipwreck itself. Unfortunately because of the weather it is better not to do the planned dive. Notwithstanding that, for us this mission is a great success.

 What is the final result of this expedition?
After a day of salvage on this ‘Peepotwreck’ we have a quantity of about 6000 kg fishingnets and another 6000 kg other fishing equipment  such as Beams ,chains rubber discs and floats.

The nets on the deck..

Sunday 26 oktober 2014

We slowly return to Stellendam. On the way back we make multibeamscans of 2 random chartwrecks. We lower the grab once more to have a look. As this in an unknown wreck we don’t have a name and consequently no history.

The 2e wreck we visit this Sunday is another story. After we lower the grab we mainly see massive stones. We don’t see any wreck.
Later we find out it concerns the tipping of a big pontoon in a storm which transported big stones for harbourworks.

We took one of the smaller stones on board for determination. The stones we saw varied in weight approximately between 2 and 10 tons.

Back to the harbour …

Then comes the moment to go back to our homeport Stellendam. Ultimately we need to be back at the entry of the Haringvliet at 17.00 to be in time for the high water (The Bela has too much draft to enter the shallow entry of the harbour at low tide) Just before entering the harbour a telephonecall to Evy of Evy’s Proposal, to enable Evy to make her shots of the Bela entering the harbour. Super from her that she want to do that and to brave the cold for more than an hour.

Curious to see the film? Watch him

For a full report of this mission look at our facebookpage or on our website in the medialibrary.


The end of the 2014 Healthy Seas salvage season North Sea :29.000 kilo nets

It is nice to see that also with our own input and energy from North Sea Cleanup, last years results of our partner ‘Healthy Seas’ rose with 50%!

On behalf of ECNC Group, Aquafil and Star Sock

Stellendam- Last weekend it was the last weekend for this 2014 seasons to recuperate ghostnets from the North Sea .The result was 6000 kilo. The Total quantity nets that Healthy Seas coud present for recycling from the Netherlands and Belgium this year amounts to 29.000 kilo.
That is a progress of almost 50 % in comparison with 2013.

In 2014 the number of diveteams that were active in Netherland and Belgium with the salvage of ghostnets rose. Three diveteams and a salvor are active for Healthy Seas ;together they had 16 operational days. Also two depots are opened where divers can deposit their ghosnets and where fishermen can deliver their old and worn nets. It concerns the harbours of Stellendam, Oostende and Den Oever.
All these partners are actively researching the solutions to reduce the waste in the sea.

Healthy Seas
Healthy Seas – a journey from waste to wear is an initiative from ECNC Land &Sea Group, Aquafil and Star Sock. They work together with their partners to recuperate waste from the sea and if possible to recycle. Here in particular in concerns lost fishingnets in the European waters. The lost fishingnet represent a big problem. According a combined report from the FAO and UNEP an estimated 640.000 tons of fishingnets lands in the oceans per year, that is about one tenth of all the straygarbage, these nets stay in the marine ecosystem for a very long time and many seaanimals like dolphins, turtles, crabs, and seabirds get entangled and die. Sometimes recuperated nets from the sea are being dumped or burned, but Healthy Seas initiative promotes the recycling to ECONYL yarn,a high quality raw material with which new products like socks, bathingsuits, underwear and tapistry can be made.

North Sea Cleanup and Healthy Seas International mission

The trip through the Netherland ,Belgian and English waters.
A weekend at sea with Healthy Seas.

Friday 05 September 2014
It is Friday evening late. Shortly after each other the captain and mate for this weekend and the members of Healthy Seas with whom we will sail the trip of this weekend are coming on board the Bela. The sleeping locations are found and the diveequipment is hoisted on board.Everybody is prepared and looks forward to start. The connexion from the harbour Stellendam and the sea is limited in depth for ships with draft like the Bela ,about 5 meter ,the time to go is restricted to high water,so we have to wait until just after midnight.

00.26 finally ready! The engineer already had the machine running for a warmup and we seperate from the quay.Slowly we leave the jetty on our way to the locks that give us way to the sea. For some of the people it is quite an experience as they never were in sluices.

Once through the sluices we have to pass the shallows of the so called ‘Mudhole’ to reach the open sea.

What is the planning and where are we going to?
We will first go to the Belgian waters .We are interested to see the situation over there. The idea is to visit the ‘Kilmore’. This steamship sank in 1906. Length 86 m, Beam 13 m. According to our sources from divers it is completely covered with nets. The distance to go is 62 miles (a nautical mile is 1853 meter). So we all, exept the captain and the mate, can have a good nap to be fresh in the morning.

At the arrival on the scene we start with making a scan with the multibeamsonar to give us a good idea where to anchor and to bring the Bela in the good position.

The scan of the wreck.

After the scanning and the anchoring the grab goes in the water and we fix it on a sturdy piece of the wreck, the Healthy Seas divers can now comfortably go down to the wreck via the umbilical (that is the composition of the hydraulic hoses and reinforcementcable that connects the grab with the hydraulic system). The grab and its ledlights form a clear orientation on the wreck and the bags with disconnected nets can be tied to the grab and brought up in an easy way. Then the divers came up their pockets are full with fishleads that they could pick up everywhere. And indeed the wreck is completely under the fishingnets as well as fishinglines with hooks and leads.
So clearing here is a very adequate job!

After a meeting we decide to make another divesession here the next tide and to free as many nets as possible from the wreck. After the dive and after the grab is up we can see the result. Bags with net are all hanging around the grab as well as big peaces of gillnets,and other pieces of heavy nets and lines.

The divers made several videos of the netsituation on the shipwreck. This wreck certainly deserves a proper cleanup to get it clean from all the swirling nets around it, it appears that also in the Belgian waters this is an urgent matter.

To the SS(steamship) Queen Louise..
After our investigation on the Belgian shipwreck we go North West just in the English part of the North Sea.We are underway to the Konigin Louise. We know already that this wreck is under the nets .We arrive here in the beginning of the evening and continue until deep night with the salvage of nets with the grab.The next morning we continue for a few hours and underwhile we free a lots of crabs that are entangled from the nets.

Free the crabs out of the nets

On our way back to the harbour…
Time flies like a rocket ,its already time again to go back. It was a successfull weekend!
A good investigation about the situation in the Belgian waters and we managed to recuperate a substantial quantity of lost nets from the wrecks and could save a lot of crabs from slow and certain death.

For a complete photoreport of this mission you can see our our medialibrary.