Ghost Nets strike again, this time in the Caribbean off the Cayman Islands where hundreds of dead fish and sharks were found ensnared in abandoned in ghost fishing gear. The huge net appeared to have been adrift for months wreaking havoc with marine life that entire time.
“At first we thought it was a log, but as we got closer we could see it was a net with floats,” said Dominick Martin-Mayes a local fisherman and dive instructor. “I jumped in the water first and was shocked at what I saw. It took my breath away – the first thing I saw was the juvenile oceanic whitetip [shark].”
Most Were Dead
“I got my buddy who was with me to grab a knife and jump in. We did what we could to free some of the trapped life but most of it was already dead.”
Martin-Mayes estimated the size of the net to be 50 feet across by at least 50 feet deep and that the net was so heavy that they were unable to tow it back to shore. Adding that “the more that get caught, the more that come in to eat it and get caught themselves.”
Ghost fishing gear is an enormous problem with abandoned fishing nets, counting as one of the largest components of plastic ocean debris, but unlike other types of floating garbage, ghost gear continues to entrap and kill marine life. See the entire article at the Independent.
Ghost Fishing Gear can be brought back to life.
Fortunately there are ways that ghost fishing gear can be recovered and recycled. For example Addidas, the German sports wear giant works with fishermen in the Indian Ocean to recover abandoned fishing gear. The company then recycles the plastic into useful products like swim wear and running shoes. See our article: Ocean Plastic Will Triple by 2025, plus Adidas running on plastic from the sea.
By Robert Frerck, Blue Ocean Network
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