Efforts to clear ghost nets haunting the ocean

Ghost nets are choking marine life around the world. In the Karaburun district of Izmir, Turkey, divers cleared a 200-meter ghost net on November 6, 2021, in an attempt to protect the marine environment. 

Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been abandoned or lost in the sea. According to a World Wildlife Fund report, somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million tonnes of fishing gear is discarded in the ocean every year. 

The fishing nets are made of nylon or other plastic compounds that can last for centuries, which means they continue to catch fish or trap sea turtles, dolphins and other marine animals for many years. 

Although ghost net clearing is now carried out by volunteers and public institutions, these efforts remain insufficient. To tackle the problem, we have to prevent fishing gear loss in the first place, and invent biodegradable fishing gear in the future so that it can break down easily without harming marine life.

(All images via CFP.)

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