Ghost nets are lost or abandoned fishing nets and linen. They continue to do their job on an ongoing mission, becoming a danger to many marine life. According to a recent survey study, 5.7% of fishing nets, 8.6% of fishing baskets and 29% of all fishing lines are lost each year. The lordless nets and fishing lines are often made of nylon, polyester or polyethylene. Ghost nets are estimated to account for about 10 percent of the world’s plastic waste in the oceans. Not only do they represent a death trap for marine mammals, fish, seabirds and molluscs, but over time they decompose into microplastics, plasticizers or impregnating agents. In addition, toxins are deposited on plastic particles, which have a significant impact on marine ecosystems and can eventually enter the human food chain.
Together with our cooperation partners, the scientific diving association Scientific Diving Association e.V. Kiel (SDA), oeoo therefore launched a project in spring 2019 to locate and salvage such ghost networks from the Baltic Sea. In the Baltic Sea alone, an estimated 10.000 nets and fishing gear are lost each year. Therefore, finds are located, marked and recovered by the divers of the SDA. The SeeKuh from oeoo serves as the basis for the dives.
Since 2019, several successful joint salvage operations have already taken place in the Baltic Sea, unfortunately mostly with fat prey.
Since 2020, Oceanwell has been supporting the joint project as a sponsor.
SDA offers a reporting portal on the web through which fishermen or water sports enthusiasts can report wreck and ghost network positions.
Fotos: SDA, Nikolas Linke.
Below is a video of one of the ghost net actions together with SDA in the summer of 2020 in the Baltic Sea.