Protecting Marine Life from Ghost Nets
In April, the news that a whale was stranded in the shallow waters of Sardinia in western Italy and 22 kg of plastic waste was found from its body became a hot topic worldwide. It is well known that marine life suffers from damage by eating plastic floating in the sea. And do you know that fishing gear such as fishing nets discarded in the sea are also killing marine life?
The dumped fishing nets are called “Ghost Nets,” and on the west coast of the United States, an average of 70 large whales are damaged by the ghost nets every year. It’s causing damages all over the world; for example, at least one large marine mammal is trapped in a ghost net every week in the oceans around the United Kingdom.
In order to address these issues, “Good Net Project”, a joint project by the Good Net project and the Ghost Fishing Foundation, was launched in March 2019.
This project is designed to recover dumped ghost nets from the world’s oceans, and the recovery operation is being carried out with the cooperation of volunteer divers. And, the recovered ghost nets are transformed into beach volleyball nets by the traditional technology for fishing net repair.
At the beach volleyball tournament held at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 16, 2019, the upcycled fishing net was used for the first time. With this event as a start, the upcycled fishing nets will be spread to the worldwide beach volleyball tournaments.
To create an environment where there is no need to recover the ghost nets, fishing companies using fishing nets seem to be reaching a crucial stage where they are required to take measures.