Successful ghost nets retrieval mission!
Last week (25th of April) we participated at the retrieval of a huge ghost net with the volunteer divers of Healthy Seas at Tossa del Mar in Spain. Together with Ghost Diving España, both teams pulled out six different types of nets releasing various entangled and suffering animals in the process. It took hours to sort the bundle of nets manually which is a necessary step before recycling them and transforming the waste into ECONYL® Brand, the regenerated nylon we use for our collection.
This cleaning up initiative had an immediate impact on the regional marine fauna since we know from scientific studies that the sea surrounding Barcelona is one of the three areas in Spain most polluted with plastics from fishing activity.
During the 2-day cleanup, 8 volunteer divers removed a large gill net found 40 minutes from shore, covering a reef within the boundaries of a Marine Protected Area. Although gill nets are typically very light, they are also the deadliest form of marine litter. Many animals, particularly crustaceans, were found entangled and rescued during the operation.
About ghost nets:
Lost and abandoned fishing nets - called ghost nets - are a major contributor to the global crisis of ocean plastics...But...why is that?
- They are made of nylon (not rope like before!) which is plastic and actually represent 10% of the total plastic pollution in our seas.
- They don't decompose so they continue to catch, entangle and kill thousands marine animals each year while drifting away.
- They break, shade, and abrade coral, preventing them from healthy growth
- They are a danger for boats propellers.
BUT the good news is that when identified and collected during those kind of mission, they can be recycled into a valuable resource!!!
Photo credit: Cor Kuyvenhoven