Hunt the nets, free the victims
A Plastic Ocean Foundation (APOF) has a ‘Ghost Net Hunting Team’ that organised regular ghost net removal works, contributing to their #onetonneless campaign every year. Ghost net is a serious threat to all marine wildlife. They are abandoned fishing nets that are still able to trap anything that accidentally encounters them, and they are often invisible underwater.
It is not uncommon to see fishes getting caught in the nets that are up to a few miles long and they become bait to bigger victims such as cetaceans, sea turtles and sharks, which also risk getting tangled in the abandoned nets. Coral reefs are victims too. Ghost nets that tangle on the reef might break the corals, expose them to diseases and restrain their growth, they also block corals from sunlight they need to survive.
The more out of water the better
The Team has located and removed over 180 kg of ghost nets in Hong Kong since December in 2022. Freeing wildlife that get trapped, as well as revitalising the coral reefs by bringing the abandoned nets out of water.
Removing ghost nets is dangerous, usually 12 divers are required for each cleanup. If the divers are lucky with the weather, they might be able to pull 50 to 60 pounds of nets out of water. Hence, it is our priority to educate the fishermen in the first place and hopefully can reduce the amount of abandoned nets in our ocean!
A Plastic Ocean Foundation also provides training and safety advice for divers to become a ghost net hunter. If you already have diving certifications and would like to join the team, get in touch with them!