The Pervasive Impact of „Ghost Fishing“
The Pervasive Impact of "Ghost Fishing"
Study finds impacts of ghost fishing by derelict traps in U.S. waters
are pervasive, persistent, and largely preventable
Some 180,000 Dungeness crab ? with a monetary value of $740,000 ? die in
derelict fishing traps every year in Puget Sound. Close to one million
blue crabs succumb annually in them in the Virginia portion of
Chesapeake Bay. Sensitive habitats, such as seagrass meadows and corals,
are damaged while threatened and endangered species can be caught
thereby reducing the chances of their recovery.
These are just a few of the impacts associated with derelict fishing
traps according to a recent study published in Marine Pollution
Bulletin. The study's authors, led by Courtney Arthur of NOAA's Marine
Debris Division in Silver Spring, Maryland, looked at seven regions
where trap fisheries occur in one of the first attempts to document the
scope of the problem in U.S. waters. And that problem, they conclude, is
pervasive and persistent, with a cumulative impact on target and
non-target species likely exceeding that recognized by fisheries managers.