Our organization is set up by an enthusiastic technical diving team and has evolved into more diving teams all over the world following the same concept. We like to call these "chapters". Our shared goal is to remove lost fishing gear and make the world aware of issues caused by this so called "ghost fishing gear".
With our headquarters based in the Netherlands, our volunteer divers operate within the following localized Ghost Diving chapters:
- Ghost Diving The Netherlands (HQ)
- Ghost Diving Adriatic
- Ghost Diving Austria
- Ghost Diving East Med
- Ghost Diving Egypt
- Ghost Diving Germany
- Ghost Diving Greece
- Ghost Diving Hong Kong
- Ghost Diving Korea
- Ghost Diving Lake Iseo
- Ghost Diving Mexico
- Ghost Diving New Zealand
- Ghost Diving Poland
- Ghost Diving Portugal
- Ghost Diving Spain
- Ghost Diving United Kingdom
- Ghost Diving USA
Are you looking for a Ghost Diving team that can help you out in one of these countries or around it? Feel free to contact one of the chapter leaders below.
Global Coordinator: Pascal van Erp
If you're interested in diving and marine conservation, you've probably heard his name before. Pascal is a CCR/technical diver specialized in marine pollution and is active worldwide. With activism running through his veins, he has been cleaning up fishing gear since 2007 and dedicated his diving exclusively to the protection of the environment. In order to encourage divers to cleanup the underwater environment and at the same time increase diving safety, he founded the Ghost Diving organization in 2012. His team-oriented and standardized approach to conservation diving quickly spread throughout the technical diving industry. Besides he is also active as a DAN Europe ambassador.
After working as a technical engineer at Greenpeace, he moved his professional career to the Healthy Seas Foundation, where he is responsible for the day-to-day management and all diving and fishing related projects since their launch in 2013. His work within Ghost Diving Foundation has remained voluntary unchanged. Pascal has numerous working relationships with other non-profit environmental organizations, many of which he collaborates within the Global Ghost Gear Initiative.
Due to his work and long-standing commitment to protecting the oceans and seas from the phenomenon of “ghost fishing”, Pascal's name has become associated with this global environmental problem and is often invited to speak as an expert in various forums and public discussions. He has led numerous research and clean-up projects for lost fishing gear in the North Sea, Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Caspian Sea and Baltic Sea, Pacific and Atlantic Ocean, Vema Seamount and Scapa Flow.
Coordinator: Maurizio Grbac
Maurizio has been a diver since 1989 and active in diving business since 1995. For many years active diving instructor in recreational field and now a days running a tech dive center Krnicadive in Croatia. He is an active GUE CCR diver especially passionate about wreck diving.
Krnicadive is collaborating with Ghost Diving foundation since 2013 and Project Argo. Last 12 months Krnicadive is organizing regular cleaning actions to remove marine litter from Adriatic Sea. Maurizio is on the head of very strong and proud community, Ghost Diving Adriatic.
In next future we will be focused on removal of lost fishing gear from wrecks and reefs in Adriatic Sea.
Coordinator: Michael Westreicher
Michael is a PSCR/Technical diver with a preference for cave diving. Next to his dive skills he is passionate videographer & editor for underwater environment. Austria does not have an access to the ocean so Michael and his team are focused to remove trash and lost fishing gear from the Austrian lakes. The first project of was in year 2017 when they recognised a dead fish entangle in a lost net. Over the year GD Austria removed a lot of stuff which polluted the clear water of the alpine lakes. With growing collaborating of the “Österreichische Bundesforste” (owner of the biggest lakes) GD Austria try extend the projects. Regularly the core members join projects from Adriatic and German chapter but also global missions.
Coordinator: Imad Farhat
Imad has been in the technical diving field for more than 12 years, trained with a multitude of highly respected diving agencies such as Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) and Technical Diving International (TDI), with major interests in marine conservation spectrum's and underwater photography/videography. With the elevated sightings of lost fishing gear, entangled fishing nets on reefs and wrecks scattered around the East Mediterranean coast and dive sites of Lebanon & Cyprus, causing direct and indirect hazardous situations to marine life and divers as well, something had to be done, thus why the collaboration was established with Ghost Diving HQ to shape and launch operation Ghost Diving Lebanon in 2016 and later on renamed to Ghost Diving East Med in 2022.
Coordinator: Sameh Sokar
Sameh is a GUE CCR and Technical Instructor with a passion for exploration and discovery. Based in Dahab in the Red Sea in Egypt, Sameh runs his own dive center, Scuba Seekers.
Being an instructor for over 14 years, Sameh has been teaching all levels of Technical Diving for different training organisations and is nowadays active as a CCR, Tech and Rec Instructor for GUE, TDI and IANTD. Through his exploration and knowledge of the local reefs, caverns and canyons in Dahab, Sameh became aware of discarded nets in areas that are not frequently visited by diver - ghost nets at deeper depths that had been there for a long time and continued to make a devastating impact on the reefs and the marine life.
Through collaboration with Ghost Diving and establishing Ghost Diving Egypt, Sameh found that with the right tools, team and plan, these nets could be safely removed without putting the team or the environment at risk. The Red Sea has one of the richest underwater ecosystems in the world and Dahab hosts many coral reefs and marine life species found only in the Red Sea. Protecting the reef and marine life that lives there is so important for the future of diving in this unique ecosystem.
Coordinator: Kai Wallash
Kai is a GUE trained diver with a strong relationship towards nature and ecosystems. He has been diving since the late 80ies and served as an professional salvage diver in the German army. Lost plastic in nature is always collected, by bike, by kayak or during a challenging run. Educating society and next generation in awareness of environmental pollution and sustainability is a very important task for him.
Leading a newly formed team of the German chapter, the next future we will be focused on removal of lost fishing gear from wrecks withing Germany and collaboration with other chapters.
Coordinator: Derk Remmers
Derk is a GUE CCR and Technical Instructor and Instructor Trainer with a passion for wreck exploration and conservation. He started diving in the 80ies, and his although diving career led him to a many seas, his main diving area are the European waters. As divers, we are direct witnesses how plastics, and especially lost fishing gear, is pollution the seas. To help solve this problem and raise awareness, he is honored to serve as a vice coordinator for the newly founded German chapter.
Coordinator: Nikos Vardakas
Nikos has been teaching diving since 2002. He is an active Hypoxic Trimix instructor with SSI and a Fundamentals instructor and Greek representative for GUE, as well as the founder and soul of Scubalife Greece. He is a dedicated diver, explorer and educator offering quality scuba diving training with a strong environmental message. After numerous international wreck explorations, Nikos is now focussing on participating in and promoting wreck diving and exploration, and maritime heritage in Greece.
He strives to be an integral part of organisations that are facilitating real change.
Having participated in local underwater and beach cleanups for years, he joined an expedition to Ithaca, Greece in summer 2021 where a major operation to clean up an abandoned fish farm was executed successfully. He continues to look out for underwater debris in the Attica area, close to Athens, and build the ghost diving community in Greece.
Coordinator: Bruno Espinosa
Bruno began his diving career in the year 2000 at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). In 2006 he became a TDI and CMAS instructor and in 2010 he founded Divers Community, a company dedicated to creating a community of divers committed to the environment and high levels of education. Since 2016 he is an active GUE Fundamentals instructor and in 2023 he is starting the ghost net recovery project in Mexico in conjunction with Ghost Diving and a group of enthusiastic divers committed to the GUE philosophy and conservation.
Coordinator: Andrew Couch
Andrew is a CCR and Technical Instructor Trainer and has been an active diver since 1990. Having been teaching recreational and technical diving for the past 20 years with numerous agencies including PADI, TDI and IANTD, Andrew has focused his attention on teaching with GUE. As one of the founders and owners of Third Dimension Diving South East Asia and through his involvement with GUE as an active Instructor and Instructor Trainer, Andrew has been able to develop the right tools and community to engage in meaningful project based diving.
Having regularly participated in underwater and beach clean up events, Andrew has led teams on several artificial reef building projects as well as conducting research and surveying of Hong Kong Government Artificial Reefs and Marine Eco Habitats.
Andrew and his team seek to develop and grow the Ghost Diving Hong Kong chapter in order to educate the local community and recover Ghost Nets from around the local Hong Kong waters. In addition the team hopes to work with other Ghost Diving Chapters and assist in increasing global awareness of the issues involved with Ghost Nets and other lost fishing equipment.
Coordinator: Seungkyu Park
In 2001 Seungkyu Park started diving in the pursuit of the magical underwater environment, where he grew huge interest in photography and videography, two things that were originally related to his professional job.
As a BSAC, SDI/TDI instructor and GUE diver, Seungkyu Park primary aim was to clean out the sea bed from debris and accumulated trash, a job that required hard work and lots of collaboration that triggered the need to establish Ghost Diving Korea.
Established in 2017, and with 30 official members enrolled in the organization and more than a 100 activists constantly working for environmental protection activities, Ghost Diving Korea is operating in East sea, Jeju island and the Philippine sea.
Coordinator: Rob Wilson
Rob is founder and Team Leader of Ghost Diving in New Zealand posted on the Ghost Diving page on December the 11th in 2013 about how Pascal and his team had motivated them in New Zealand to make a difference in their home country. On February the 23rd the very next year Rob organised his first dive team to attack marine debris on a local scale which led to an invitation for Rob to join the international Ghost Diving team.
Rob and his team undertake monthly marine debris clean ups and have integrated Ghost Diving New Zealand into the local and national community working with numerous organisations to recover items from the ocean. Everything from E-scooters to 60m nets.
Robs team is incredibly dedicated and strive to motivate others all over the globe with their passion to make a difference. Having obtained his PADI Open Water qualification at a very early age (youngest Open Water diver in the country at the time), Rob has gone from strength to strength as a diver. Now a qualified technical diver with Global Underwater Explorers he works tirelessly to create community and to educate others both in and out of the water. Rob has been involved in numerous GUE expeditions including three trips to "Project Middle Earth" cave exploration in the beautiful Blue Creek resurgence and involvement in the GUE/Project Baseline in the waters of Fiji. It is rare week when Rob has neither his drysuit on or his camera in his hand or both. Team is everything to Rob, and in his words 'Team does not end when you leave the water'
Coordinator: BarTek Trzcinski
Bartek is an active GUE instructor and technical diver, particularly passionate about wrecks and marine life conservation. As a member of the Tecline Academy Team he is also active in testing, co-designing, consulting and teaching about scuba diving equipment.
Meeting our team and joining some projects motivated him to launch a Ghost Diving Chapter in his home country – Poland. So it happened - in 2019 a group of experienced, Polish divers launched Ghost Diving Poland. Their primary goal is to clean the Baltic Sea from ghost nets.
Miguel has been diving since 2007 and after 10 years of recreative diving he decided to become an instructor. He expresses his love for the ocean by working on conservation and he passes this on with love to his students, whom he teaches to take underwater waste with him during the dive. Miguel is also very involved with photo and videography, regularly assists with projects and participates in competitions.
He divides his time working as lawyer during the week and teaching scuba diving in the weekends. He believes his legal capabilities may be useful in the Portuguese Chapter of Ghost Diving.
Coordinator: Duncan Simpson
Duncan is a technical diver from the United Kingdom who particularly enjoys exploring historic North Sea shipwrecks. He started diving in 1993, as GUE technical diver he only recently returned to diving intensively in the UK. He is a founder of ‘Project Baseline UK North Sea Wrecks Project, documenting marine sites to raise awareness of environmental challenges. While exploring shipwrecks in the North Sea, he noticed many ghost nets, and so they are delighted to work together with an organization that clears the North Sea of harmful, damaged, or lost fishing gear. Joining the Global Ghost Diving organization with a team of committed UK divers will allow us to focus on improving and protecting the North Sea for everyone.
Coordinator: Norbert Lee
Norbert is a Marine Biologist in Los Angeles County primarily focused on monitoring the impacts of treated wastewater discharge. His work provides him access to a variety of oceanographic methods and equipment to gain a holistic understanding of what is occurring locally. In his spare time, he enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge of the ocean by teaching scuba diving. He is a GUE and NAUI instructor and actively mentors new divers with a stewardship point of view towards our oceans.
Norbert is continuing the work locally in Los Angeles that was started by Heather and Karim Hamza and helping to build a community of trained divers capable of conducting ghost net cleanups and impact assessment. He hopes to tie in Ghost Diving work with community involvement to educate the public and the next generation of conservationists.
Coordinator: Raúl Álvarez
Raúl is a GUE diver, instructor, explorer, coordinator and director of Ghost Diving Spain since 2014. In 2012 his passion for diving led him to start his own dive center, Kraken Dive, located comfortably on the shore in Tossa de Mar, Costa Brava. There, he organizes and participates in compelling marine conservation projects like Ghost Diving and Baseline, both of which are the principal mode of training for their students.
Oneof his strengths is teaching and passing on safe diving practices, conservation and respect for the marine environment. Everyday his hope is to contribute his grain of sand towards ensuring that environmental protection prospers.