Hi Everyone, I just want to talk about Ghost Nets, earlier this month, a wave of huge fast food/drink vendors have promised to stop supplying plastic straws with their drinks and to switch to recyclable straws.
This is due to the ocean being full of plastic waste and people wanting to cut down on the environmental impact that their everyday life causes. Recent studies have shown that plastic straws only make up 0.5% of ocean plastic debris and that Ghost Nets are the real problem. Taking up 46% of the total ocean debris.
I wanted to write a blog post to make people aware of what Ghost Nets are and what we can do to make sure that they won’t affect our oceans in the future!
What are Ghost Nets?
Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been left or lost in the ocean by fishermen. These nets, often nearly invisible in the dim light, can be left tangled on a rocky reef or drifting in the open sea.
Around 640,000 tons of ghost gear end up in the ocean every single year! Between the years 2013 and 2018 volunteers from the oliveridleyproject.org have removed more than 1,300 ghost nets and gear fragments from the ocean. The fragments are things such as ropes, bags, buoys, bottles etc.
What is Ghost Fishing Gear?
Derelict fishing gear, sometimes referred to as “ghost gear,” is any discarded, lost, or abandoned, fishing gear in the marine environment. This gear continues to fish and trap animals, entangle and potentially kill marine life, smother habitat, and act as a hazard to navigation.
What are Fishing Nets Made Out Of?
A fishing net or fishnet is a net that is used for fishing. Fishing nets are meshes usually formed by knotting a relatively thin thread. Modern nets are usually made of artificial polyamides like nylon, although nets of organic polyamides such as wool or silk thread were common until recently and are still used.
How To Remove Ghost Nets
Before the ghost gear is recovered and removed from the ocean, the divers need to free any of the animals that are within the nets. They’re then examined for any injury if they’re free from any injuries they are released back into the oceans immediately.
Statistics shown from https://oliveridleyproject.org/ show that between 2013 and 2017 they rescued 426 entangled sea turtles.
Currently, there are no standards, practices or guidelines to properly face the Ghost Net problem. It is usually carried out by diving instructors that know all about technical diving and they can apply their knowledge to help remove the waste fishing gear.
How To Stop Ghost Nets In The Future
We can’t stop the current ghost nets from damaging our oceans straight away, this will be a long and laborious task to remove the waste from the ocean.
We can, however, reduce demand for seafood. Like most industries, the seafood industry relies on supply-and-demand for its survival. The only way that we can help put an end to the death of our beloved ocean is to stop supporting it with our dollars.
So, the next time you go out to eat, please try to remember some of the facts presented here and consider ordering the veggie roll instead of the tuna roll.