Two of my peers presented a research project on ghost nets and the problems they are causing in the ocean. Ghost nets, once defined, are pretty accurately identified by their name. Ghost nets are basically any fishing (or other) nets that are thrown off or otherwise make their way from boats into oceans. These nets are often broken and so fishermen don't have a purpose for them anymore, giving them a reason to throw them overboard.
These nets can be incredibly long, taking up tons of space. If they sink down to the ocean floor, they can wrap around corals, damaging reefs and those whom inhabit them. Also, many animals become caught in these nets on all levels of the ocean, killing thousands of fish, sharks, dolphins, turtles, and other animals.
The solution seems pretty simple: stop throwing nets in the water, and have people pick them up. The difficult part of these solutions is that some fishermen don't have any incentive to keep their nets, and the nets are not easy to bring to the surface.
One solution our class came up with was to pay the fishermen to bring back their broken nets, giving them a reason to hold on to them. Also, there's still the underlying solution of educating citizens on the problem at hand, which is the purpose behind this blog post. Moreover, there needs to be more volunteers and groups that clean up these nets. The nets get very entangled, heavy, and difficult to bring to surface. It'll take more than a few non-profits in order to truly get a grasp on this problem. Certified divers who want to give up some of their time would be a huge help along with more organizations gearing their energy toward this cause.
We CAN make a difference by spreading awareness! Most people don't even know what ghost nets are, much less their effect on the ecosystem.
Here are some videos and pictures to show to friends and family. Share this blog and these videos to make a difference!!!!