Fishing trash bad for fish

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While fishing as such is an agricultural practice with the ultimate goal of catching and killing fish, i.e. not fantastic for fish to begin with, fishing gear dumped at the bottom of lakes and oceans are killing fish even after the actual fishing stops, says a UN report.

Photographer: Jane Dermer, Carpentaria Ghost Nets, ghostnets.com

Photographer: Jane Dermer, Carpentaria Ghost Nets, ghostnets.com

Apparently, discarded fishing gear compromises about 10%, or 640 000 tonnes,  of all sea trash, creating a situation of so-called “ghost fishing”, when innocent maritime  denizens happily enjoying off-season swim into discarded nets and related rubble, ending their lives in highest indignity. In the report, several pressures on fishers are named as contributing to this terrible situation, namely

Enforcement pressure causing those operating illegally to abandon gear; operational
pressure
and weather making it more likely that gear will be left or discarded; economic pressure leading to dumping of unwanted fishing gear at sea rather than disposal onshore; and spatial pressures resulting in the loss or damage of gear through gear conflicts. Indirect causes include the unavailability of onshore waste disposal facilities, as well as their accessibility and cost of use.

As seen, fishing trash management isn’t working out that well. The report suggests preventive efforts and says that mitigation is crucial, etc. We could also just stop fishing, but while poverty exists, one might need to recognize that’s not a very realistic scenario.

Lastly, extracurricular nerd info: The report teaches us a new acronym; ALDFG (Abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear)!

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One Response to “Fishing trash bad for fish”

  1. Marella Says:

    I’m currently working on a photo essay about pollution in North East Ohio. You might be interested. You can see the work in progress at : http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2134646

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