The enormous plastic fishing net discovered on a Cornwall beach

25-01-22 -Group holding large trawler net on Tolcarne beach in Newquay-Waterhaul
The large trawler net was found partially buried in the sand Credit: Waterhaul

A large trawler net buried below the sand on a Cornwall beach has been discovered.

Conservationists say discarded fishing gear and ghost nets are the most common and the most lethal forms of plastic in the ocean.

The discovery falls under a phenomenon known as ‘ghost fishing’. Credit: Waterhaul

Waterhaul, a business centered on making positive environmental change, found the item after receiving a tip-off on social media.

After a couple of hours of digging on Tolcarne Beach in Newquay, the team retrieved the net with help from locals.

The discovery falls under a phenomenon known as ‘ghost fishing’.

This is where entangled and trapped marine life attracts more species, resulting in an ongoing loop of catches.

Waterhaul's CEO says the Duchy's beaches are "inundated" with fishing gear every winter. Credit: Waterhaul

It is because these discarded nets are produced from plastic, meaning they do not degrade, and so they continue catch and kill marine life.

Harry Dennis, Waterhaul CEO, said: “We founded Waterhaul as frustrated marine conservationists - every winter, our beaches in Cornwall are inundated with ghost gear, and we were finding lines and offcuts daily.

"This was a large, heavy net that took the team a lot of time and effort to recover, having to dig it out of the sand and then drag it up the cliffs.

"However, we cannot leave nets like these on the beaches to cause more damage than they already have.”

The net will be recycled and reused, being turned into new products such as sunglasses and litter pickers.