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  1. Seal found dead after being 'lassoed' in fishing net off Scottish island | Press and Journal
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  3. The corpse of death fish stuck in fishing net on the beach. Ocean, pollute.
  4. Stock Photo - The corpse of death fish stuck in fishing net on the beach

They were apparently trapped in an abandoned fishing net.

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Seal found dead after being 'lassoed' in fishing net off Scottish island | Press and Journal

Some had been floating under the Mexican sun so long that their shells had dried and cracked. Earlier this year campaigners warned that mass deaths of marine animals now occur frequently, and are often caused by fishing gear.

Some unregulated fisherman also cut loose gear deliberately. The nets then drift through the sea, theoretically for years, and continue doing the job they were designed for — catching marine animals. But now they kill their catch without ever bringing it in. A half mile stretch of nylon net was once found in Lake Superior , an estimated 15 years after being lost.

In that time, it had gathered pounds of fish. On just the Puget Sound , nearly , dead fish and other animals were found in 10, abandoned nets and traps over the course of a 12 year project — researchers estimated 3 and half million were killed in total.

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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a huge accumulation of plastic from around the world, as currents and winds have dragged buoyant plastic together into a remote area. The most recent estimate puts the size of the area the plastic is at 1. In Cornwall last year, scientists concluded as many as 4, dolphins could have been killed by fishing nets after 1, dead dolphins washed up on shores.

How can we prevent whales and dolphins from being caught and killed in fishing gear?

While some animals are drowned, or dragged into the sea to suffocate quickly, other end up trapped for years, and face serious injury, including amputation of fins, as they outgrow the cords wrapped around them. Straws feel like an obvious place to start when dealing with oceanic plastics.

The statistics around plastic straws sound worrying — there are an estimated 8. But i f every single one of them entered the ocean, they would still only make up 0. Banning plastic bags and disposable toothpicks will help reduce that. But anti-plastic energy also needs to be directed at other major forms of plastic that are damaging marine life, and fishing gear is a big part of that.

The corpse of death fish stuck in fishing net on the beach. Ocean, pollute.

There are challenges — in the developing world, where waste management is more informal, enforcing this is hard. In some cases, illegal fishermen may deliberately dump their nets into the ocean to avoid getting caught. But most fishing vessels operating legally simply lose their gear due to poor weather, or because their nets collide with boat propellers, rocks or other fishing vessels.

Left in the ocean, ghost nets become death traps for almost any animal they come into contact with. If the animal does manage to swim away with the nets still attached to him, the nets can cause painful injuries. The team at WAP is currently working with governments, businesses and fishing organizations to decrease the number of ghost nets being left in the oceans.

Stock Photo - The corpse of death fish stuck in fishing net on the beach

The size of the netting is dependent upon the species of fish targeted so it appears the fish can swim through. Once in the net, they are stuck, their bodies too large to pass through and unable to back out because their gills are entangled. The seafood association also purports that gillnet fishermen regularly monitor their nets so that any untargeted species are released unharmed. Whether in or near shore, or open ocean, gillnet fishing can easily wipe out an entire school of mature fish in one set with only the smallest and most immature of the school able to escape the nets.

Without the protection of the larger school the immature fish that remain are more vulnerable to predators.


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So far in , over 1, sea turtles have died in nets in the Bay of Bengal alone. Their study clearly proved that this is the most destructive form of commercial fishing ever to exist. While the UN ban applies only to high seas gillnet fishing, individual nations are left to deal with coastal water bans and regulation.


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  • The turtles were trapped and exposed to the sun for so long their shells dried out and cracked..

Even though some nations have instituted gillnet bans, pirate gillnet fishing continues as the remaining countries continue to permit coastal gillnet fishing. These ghost nets lodge on coral reefs not only destroying the coral but continuing to catch doomed marine life. To take effect on January, 1, , implementation of the ban was extended until March, , giving commercial fishermen time to petition the new governor, John DeJongh, and ask that the ban be lifted.