The Strandloper Project.

Humble Origins

Starting as a simple reef clean up dive by concerned locals in January 2018, the Strandloper Project has evolved into a research program that studies the impact of lost and discarded recreational fishing tackle on ghost fishing, reef damage and entanglements.

Mission Statement:

The Strandloper Project strives to foster ocean conservation through Citizen Science.

Current Status

The Strandloper Project was registered as a Not For Profit Company (Reg # 2022/661885/08) in August 2022 and as a Non Profit Organization ( 287-926 NPO) in February 2023.

Articles :

Research Sites.

We currently focus on three research sites,

  1. Gericke;s Point,
  2. Kingfisher Creek and
  3. Knysna Heads.

Our dives surveys are along an established transect of reef, between 80m and 100m depending on the site. On each dive, we collect snagged recreational fishing line and sinkers and quantify volume of fishing line (monofilament and braided line) and get a tally for hooks, sinkers, swivels and associated tackle.

We also assess the condition of the reef during the survey dives. To date we have made the following observations :

  1. Reef damage of algae and invertebrates in high cast and recovery zones.
  2. Distinct zones of snagging. For example, one rock on the Gericke’s Point transect accounts for approximately 20% of all recovered snagged tackle.
  3. We have discovered evidence of lead poisoning as a result of the accumulation of lost lead sinkers.
  4. Ghost Fishing : To date we have recorded 5 species of fish that have died as a result of ghost fishing.
  5. Entanglements : To date we have recorded five species of birds killed from entanglements and from ingestion of discarded baited hooks.


The Strandloper Project has been involved in rescues of entangled and stranded marine species, namely :

  1. Pyjama Catshark caught on snagged recreational fishing tackle : View Here
  2. Stranded Rockhopper Penguin : View Here
  3. A Loggerhead Turtle hatchling washed up on the Wilderness Beach. It was sent to the Two Oceans Aquarium for rehab and release.
  4. A stranded Sub Antarctic Fur Seal from Brenton on Sea
  5. An Antarctic For Seal from Cola Beach, Sedgefield.
  6. Multiple Cape Fur Seals between Kleinkrans and Buffalo Bay.

Strandloper Project Coastal Research Expedition Hikes.

As part of our research, we needed to get a regional comparison from our core study sites. In 2019 we initiated a coastal expedition from Blombos Nature Reserve to Wilderness. From the expedition we were able to compile reports for local conservation organisations and interest groups on the state of both washed up plastic and fishing debris pollution.

Expedition Reports.

Annual Reports

Expedition 2020

The second research expedition was conducted in two stages. The first stage was hiked from Natures Valley to Wilderness and the second stage was between Storms River and Nature’s Valley.

2020 Expedition Report : Read Here

Expedition 2021

Our third coastal research expedition began on the 9th October and was from Arniston to Grotto Beach in Hermanus.

Expedition 2022

The fourth expedition was hiked from Storm’s River to cape Recife in late October 2023.

Expedition Videos :

Follow Our Research:

For more information and to follow our research, check out these accounts :