We have sailed across the Atlantic and South Pacific Oceans twice and on the long offshore passages we have seen lots of lost or abandoned fishing gear. We have seen floats, net makers, drift nets and more. Twice we have hooked a “lost net” on out boat’s prop. The practice of deploying miles of drift nets, calls “walls of death”, randomly catches every fish that swims, most of which is thrown out. These nets get free and go on killing randomly as they drift about the ocean. Plastic and fishing gear pollution is becoming an issue real concern. This NBC News report by Melanie Bencosme, Marianna Keller and Erik Ortiz is a real eye-opener on the real problem.
“LONG BEACH, Calif. — The tools of the fishermen’s trade are what make it possible for them to harvest the 170 billion pounds of seafood that the world feasts on each year. When the items — nets, lines and traps — are inadvertently lost or abandoned at the bottom of the ocean, they become classified as ghost gear. The discarded debris not only pollutes the waters, but it disrupts ecosystems and has become increasingly deadly.” Read more.