Divers removed half a tonne of abandoned fishing gear covering a submarine and other wrecks in an effort to protect the area’s loggerhead sea turtles, dolphins and monk seals.

These lost fishing nets are known as ghost nets, which get wrapped around shipwrecks often and turns into death traps for marine life. The Healthy Seas initiative, which organized the operation, said millions of animals die every year after getting trapped in the nylon gear.

Last week, volunteers from Greek and Dutch dived 52 meters into the waters between the islands of Kefalonia and Zakynthos to remove nets entangled around HMS Perseus. The British submarine, one of the biggest submarines of World War II sank off the Greek island of Kefalonia in 1941, which is now a cultural heritage site.

The cleanup operation focused on the submarine’s conning tower and the front outer hull.

The Healthy Seas said, “The underwater cleanups lasted five days targeting also other wrecks in the area, at 50 meters depth, and recovering a total of 500 kilos of lost fishing gear,”

The statement further added that the nets recovered will be regenerated together with other nylon waste and used for the production of socks, swimwear, and carpets.

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