Updated: Mar 19
While collecting Ocean Bound Plastics in Tioman Island, the Sea Monkeys spotted this ghost net haunting the water 😱😱😱
Have you ever heard of ghost nets?
The name refers to abandoned fishing gear that has been carelessly discarded or lost at sea where it haunts ocean habitats like a ghost 👻
These nets pose a deadly threat to all marine life for as long as they remain in the water, because most modern nets are made of plastic compounds like nylon which last for centuries.
Helpless sea creatures become entangled in these nets, which cause injuries and keep mammals from rising to the surface for air. According to a 2018 study in Scientific Reports, ghost nets make up at least 46 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This is an almost unimaginable size, as this vortex alone is more than four times the size of Germany and consists of more than 80,000 tons of plastic. It is a massive threat since hundreds of animals can be caught in a single net.
Additionally, fishing nets break down into microplastics which are mistaken for food by marine animals, causing harm to their internal organs and exposing them to toxic chemicals.
Large nets even harm coral reefs by breaking corals and exposing them to disease, and blocking reefs from necessary sunlight.
All of these harms and more are caused by unsustainable industrial fishing and plastic manufacturing practices, which allow fishing gear to become ghost nets in a cycle of cheap production, consumption, and waste. Unfortunately, it is often cheaper for fisheries to dump nets into the sea rather than dispose of them properly.
Stop these nets from becoming ghosts in the first place. Help remove ghost nets from our ocean when you see them drifting around, and if possible, give them a new life! Local stakeholders such as Cintai Tioman and Reef Check Malaysia are trying their best to keep the sea clean by retrieving drifting ghost nets from the ocean. We, at The Sea Monkey Project, are also tackling the problem by collaborating with coastal communities to upcycle ghost nets into our line of 100% Upcycled Bags for Plastic-Free Seas.