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.
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.
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