What are Ghost Nets?
Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been lost, discarded, or abandoned in the sea.
Why are Ghost Nets a Problem?
Ghost nets sink deeper into the sea, entangling fish, crabs, reefs, turtles, whales, etc., and sometimes even divers. The entangled creature dies a slow death due to starvation, suffocation, and organ damage. Sometimes the trapped organism acts as a bait for predators, trapping the predator as well. Ghost nets can be termed as silent killers of marine life.
How do Ghost nets Cause Pollution?
Fishing nets are mostly made up of non-biodegradable materials like plastic and man-made fibers like nylon to provide more strength and durability. These ghost nets go deep into the water and cause water pollution. The plastic is further broken down into microplastics that are mistaken by marine animals for food and can harm their internal organs upon consumption and release toxins into their bodies.
What is Ghost Fishing?
Ghost fishing refers to ghost nets that are still in working condition and continue to trap and kill fish and other aquatic animals. A single ghost net can trap hundreds of organisms. As nets are mostly made of plastic or synthetic fibers, they are not decomposed and go on killing aquatic animals for several years. Many of the species have become endangered due to this practice.
How to Tackle Ghost Fishing?
Ghost fishing can be controlled by using fishing nets made up of biodegradable materials, raising awareness among people, and undertaking initiatives to remove existing ghost nets.