Ghost fishing... A word I had never heard about before, till some time ago when a fellow Suunto pro staffer posted something about it on Facebook. Reason enough for me to spark my curiosity and to start Googling. Very quickly I found a site which all explains about ghost fishing and I was appalled. Ghost fishing is described by the National Ocean Service as:
"Derelict fishing gear, sometimes referred to as "ghost gear," is any discarded, lost, or abandoned, fishing gear in the environment. This gear continues to fish and trap animals, entangle and potentially kill marine life, smother habitat, and act as a hazard to navigation. Derelict fishing gear, such as nets or traps and pots, is one of the main types of debris impacting the marine environment today.“
After going through the website I just had to write about this subject and give it some attention. It's a major problem in the world and very destructive for all marine life. They die because they get trapped in derelict fishing gear. Many of us will have seen the YouTube video's last year about scuba divers helping out a dolphin and even a manta ray who where wrapped in old fishing lines. Luckily there are many initiatives worldwide to clean up derelict fishing gear. Even Greenpeace Netherlands is involved with the Arctic Sunrise to help out.
Also dive centers or scuba clubs around the wold usually organise their own clean up days for the dive sites where they always go scuba diving. You can also look up other initiatives when you want to help out. An other way to help is to be conscious during any dive you make about your environment. Take away derelict fishing gear and trash if you see any. Whenever I see any plastic floating around I take it with me. Every little bit helps!
The website www.ghostfishing.org gives more information on this subject and keeps you informed what is happening around worldwide to solve this problem.
Photo credit: www.ghostfishing.org