Here in Puget Sound, people are trying to clean up the mess of lost fishing gear. It's an amazingly huge problem. The Seattle Times reports on a pilot project that aims to remove 12 tons of gear. That's just the beginning of solving this problem. Yikes.
According to the Times:
Officials believe that 4,000 nets and 14,000 crab pots still rest abandoned in Puget Sound, and the gear has already trapped and killed more than 30,000 animals.How does old fishing gear kill?
Lost and abandoned fishing nets, crab pots and monofilament line lurking in the depths can mean catastrophe for marine life. Fish, crustaceans, sea birds and marine mammals die after becoming entangled in lost or abandoned commercial and recreational gear.Ugh. Tweet
The dead animals attract predators and scavengers who then perish. In this manner, "a derelict fishing net can fish for decades," Williams said.
"These things are killing fields," said Gary Wood, executive director of Island County's marine-resource committee. "If they were terrestrial, that's what we'd call them. The reason there isn't a big hubbub is because they're underwater, so we don't see them."