Ghost Fishing

Before I throw them away, I cut rubber bands, circles of string, soda can plastic, anything that turtles might get entangled in, because I have seen what can happen to the garbage of the world, and I can’t even imagine the pain that’s associated with it.

Deformed Sea Turtle

It’s so easy to overlook those things you don’t have to see. What I don’t see, and rarely think about, are the hundreds of miles of nets and lines that are lost at sea every year. Even without human participation, those nets continue to fish, decades, potentially centuries, after their loss. Especially now that they are made of nylon and plastics, which can last forever.

It’s called Ghost Fishing, and it’s a major threat to our oceans. Fish get caught in them. Then predators are attracted to the fish and also get caught, and on and on. It must be a horrible way to die. And it’s so senseless.

Fortunately, there are many clean up efforts going on around the world. But they’re fighting an uphill battle. They need volunteers to start their own local initiatives. They also need donations to increase awareness of the problem. Long net fisheries should be required to support these organizations, and they should use biodegradable nets. Unfortunately many do not.

If, like me, you understand the need to reduce the harmful impact we humans have had on our planet, please consider supporting Ghost Fishing.org in their worthy goal of cleaning up the world’s oceans, one net at a time. Thank you.

Ghost fishing

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5 thoughts on “Ghost Fishing

  1. James

    Not to mention the microplastics that are steadily polluting the oceans. They don’t entrap creatures, obviously, but they do get ingested, and are now a permanent feature of the marine food chain – including us, if we eat seafood – well before there has been sufficient research to determine the likely effects: whether or not they’re toxic and at what quantity, if / how they could change the environment, whether anything can be done to clean or neutralise them once they’re released into the world.

      1. James

        Fortunately, there are many hundreds of great chemists, engineers and biologists working on just that all around the world. I was watching a documentary about plastic pollution the other day. It really is as bad as it seems, if not worse. But we’re not beyond the event horizon yet, and there are so many smart ideas out there which could work, provided the funds and political will are there. It’s called ‘Drowing in Plastic’ if you can find it somewhere.

  2. Pingback: How We Can Stop Drowning in Plastic – The View from a Drawbridge

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