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Some 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear is lost in the ocean each year, trapping marine life for decades and condemning it to death. Lost fishing gear, also known as ghost gear, is one of the biggest killers lurking in our oceans.

431 comments
95% Upvoted
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level 1

Space, land, and sea - human waste knows no bounds.

level 2
84 points · 2 months ago

Im ok with tossing junk into space though. Especially into like the sun or a random nitrogen moon or something

level 3
227 points · 2 months ago

The problem is that we’re only tossing it up to the point where it’s creating an orbiting debris field that could one day add complications to our space initiatives.

level 4

Or just cause full blown Kessler Syndrome.

level 5

Ok this has me wondering, will all that junk orbiting the earth ever form into a massive object? Kinda like those models of the earth being hit by an asteroid, and then the ejected materials form the moon.

level 6
59 points · 2 months ago

NASA stated some years ago that we could eventually end up with a visible ring of junk orbiting the planet, pretty sad to think about but it certainly sounds like us.

level 7
[deleted]
21 points · 2 months ago

It would take an unbelievable amount of material to make that happen.

level 8

Sounds like a challenge....

level 9

Hold my space beer

level 10

Actually just throw it into orbit.

level 10

Why? Just let go of it and it'll hang out next you you.

level 8

a dyson shitring

level 8
10 points · 2 months ago

Sounds like a job for the... SPACE FORCE!

level 9

Scott Pruitt will get on it. It’s not enough to trash the Earth, we need to trash space too!

level 8

Also the regular person doesn't really have much impact on where the garbage goes.

It's the corporations that handle the waste that's is the problem.

Sure random people litter, but just 1 industry alone puts more pollution in the ocean in a year than the regular beach going population can litter.

level 9
[deleted]
3 points · 2 months ago

We're talking about space.

level 10
11 points · 2 months ago

Same thing goes for space garbage. You really think the average joe is capable of sending his trash into space?

level 9

Average people but things from corporations

level 8
1 point · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

You underestimate the amount of humanity's potential waste.

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level 7
1 point · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

So there’s probably some Futurama episode where the earth forms a visible junk ring?

level 8
Comment deleted2 months ago(1 child)
level 9

The findings were dismissed as...depressing.

level 6
12 points · 2 months ago

Due to a concept known as the Roche Limit, the space junk will never be able to stay together.

level 6

Ever see Wall-E?

level 6

I think the orbits are too close for them to be able to form into big objects. There's a certain radius under which massive objects rip into pieces if orbiting another massive object.

level 6

No. Most of tye junk are in a declining orbit. You need to get far out before they dont experience any atmospheric friction.

level 6

No, the tidal forces would be too big on a large object so close to earth.

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level 4

It can actually do much worse than just complicate future space initiatives. I read an article on here the other day (on mobile so I can’t link) talking about the cost implications if any major space object comes into contact with debris outside of low-orbit satellites. It was saying that the resulting damage from crashing to earth, damaging buildings and infrastructure, crops, human lives/injuries, etc. could be anywhere between 1-10 billion per occurrence, and spoke about it as an inevitability rather than a “maybe this could happen”

level 5

No man-made object in space is large enough to cause significant damage by de-orbiting. In a case where it was destroyed by an impact, the debris would almost certainly burn up on re-entry.

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level 5

Recently a research station crashed and didn't cause any damage

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level 4

Also space invaders!

level 4

This was actually the plot to one of my fav anime, Planetes.

level 4

Aka WALL-e future

level 4

Relevant username

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level 3

You can't just throw things into the sun. the amount of energy required to decelerate the trash make it unfeasible.

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level 3

What is a nitrogen moon, it sounds cool

level 4

Yes, I would like to know also.

level 3
6 points · 2 months ago

Especially into like the sun

Yeah, no

or a random nitrogen moon or something

We've got water moons and rock moons in the solar system, but not really nitrogen moons. Even the water ones are just covered in it. Maybe you could have had some liquid nitrogen out on pluto at some point, perhaps it's moon charon? but their flecks of rock that may have had nitrogen on them, rather than being really composed of it.

level 4
5 points · 2 months ago

Ok but not all human waste is nuclear lol

I just said nitrogen moon because thats the first thought i had for a generally inhospitable place - empty rocky moon works just fine too.

level 3

If we throw junk into space, it would affect us greatly in the future

level 3

With the new spaceX rockets, cost is down to like 1500$ per kg.

level 2

I don't understand why humanity doesn't make more use of plasma gasification technology.

level 2

The human race is a virus that has spread like wild fire destroying everything in sight.

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level 1
Comment deleted2 months ago(45 children)
level 2

Like prison but nicer

level 3

Until a Dolphin rolls up on you.

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level 2

That caught my eye too, but here were no examples included in the article of cases where they knew particular creatures had been trapped for decades. Anyone know more about that?

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level 1

Was walking on the Beach and saw a sea gull struggling in the water flapping about.

Walked closer and couldn’t understand what was going on. Walked closer again and spotted a fishing line.

Picked the bird out of the surf and turned out it had a fishing hook in its leg and with some lead weights attached. I cut the line with my teeth, pulled out the line and walked into the dunes and found a save spot for it to rest.

Not sure what happened to the poor thing.

Not just fish die. Birds and other creatures fall victim as well.

level 2
41 points · 2 months ago

Good for you, that’s ballsy, those things bite!

level 3

Honestly, the poor thing was so calm and had given up. It didn’t struggle at all. As I was biting through the line it laid still and flapped a bit after I placed it in the dunes.

I returned to check on it after an hour and it was gone. There aren’t any predators where we live and I hope it went on it’s way.

level 5

Thats how it is. My cat scratches me when she gets scared.

If you dont accept that an animal might hurt you out of fear. Then dont go close to them. Its kinda like blaming a child for being a child :P

level 6

The same applies to people too, hence why you need to know what you're doing when saving a drowning person.

level 7

This is something I just recently been aware of. My SO works as a swim-teacher and we were discussing saving animals from drowning. And she drops from nowhere that humans will also drown you if you arnt being careful and dont take their panic seriously.

level 5

Holy shit

level 5

Just deploy the safety squints!

level 4

Do people keep cats where you live?

level 5

Not really.

level 2

Good for you mate. You can also call local animal control or wildlife rescue if you want to ensure birdo gets proper treatment but I think you did really well. We may not be able to save every creature, but every creature we are able to save matters.

level 3

Thanks. It made me really angry. Some guy was fishing as a hobby and a bird almost died for no reason.

Didn’t have a phone and there is no car access and it is really remote. Also, unfortunately and for some reason no one cares about seagulls. They need a rebrand.

level 4

Also, unfortunately and for some reason no one cares about seagulls.

People like that imagine animals have no soul and no heart but ironically it is they who have lost theirs.

level 2

Most likely that line and hook broke before that gull found it. I've worked and lived on gull colonies. They are definitely not the brightest animals.

level 2

Not just fish die. Birds and other creatures fall victim as well.

Coastal birds are also eating the plastic and dying because it is indigestable.

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level 1
195 points · 2 months ago

This is something that can be regulated.

Every professional fishing boat should declare when they buy a new net, and when they discard an old net. Even on a landfill it will be way better than ghost nets catching fish.

They can also declare "Oopsie I lost it at sea".

Some simple code going through the databases will point the ones who lose unusually frequently their net. Next step : a fine for every lost net.

All this enforced by the fishing autorities already existing in every country.

I bet the number of nets discarded in the land and not in the sea will soar.

level 2

Problem is the thousands and thousands of Chinese fishing boats with zero fucks to give about your high fallutin regulations.

level 3

And they don't just stay in Chinese waters.

level 4
[deleted]
8 points · 2 months ago

Peru has shot at them before for entering their territorial waters.

level 5

I'm glad they have. Indonesia has sunk a number of their boats, as has Chile. They're out of hand. I would be happy if every country took a zero tolerance policy on any of those fuckers.

Because It's not just one happy-go-lucky fisherman trying to live his life straying into other waters and leaving when he can. These are dozens of huge ships entering together. And they'll attempt to ram anyone who tries to stop them. Or they'll group together to form an unstoppable wall. They need to be shot at and sunk with the survivors immediately detained.

level 6

I wouldn't complain too loudly if the survivors had unfortunate accidents and fell over the side as well. They're not much better than pirates in my book.

level 3

Not just "chinese" though ... and you think fishermen off the coast of Canada declare all of their gear too?

level 4

No he's saying that they need to start declaring the gear, but Chinese fisherman are already notorious for ignoring all international fishing laws.

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level 3

Yeah let's point the finger at Chinese fishing boats instead of conglomerates like Parlevliet-vd Plas who empty large parts of the sea with mega trawlers. They of course never lose a net, and if they do it's of course a tiny little net you can barely see </s>

level 4

You can go after conglomerates.

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level 2
17 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

or just make fishing nets that when discarded, disassemble. Laws and more laws are more often than not not effective at all. Mind as well say, "fishermen plz be good ppl" because those two actions are on the same lvl of reality sadly.

edit: okay this might come off as weird to some people, but I'm against the idea of "run to the lawmakers as soon as problem arises" mindset. My fishing net idea may be crap, but I'm just trying to make the point that there are alternate ways of changing human behavior on a large scale other than whipping them until they conform.

Laws are good, but I would like to keep them at bay until no other solutions are good enough.

level 3
18 points · 2 months ago

How do you make nets that only disassemble when discarded and not when in use. That's the tough bit

level 4
21 points · 2 months ago

I bet 3d printed graphene net made with cold fusion could do it.

level 5
18 points · 2 months ago

How much grant money do you want? I can offer you all of it if you add some solar nanotubes

level 6

If we could create synergies using the cloud with blockchain and machine learning, I think it can be done

level 7
3 points · 2 months ago

Have everything we’ve got! The cure for cancer can’t be more than 3 weeks away with words like these!

level 6
4 points · 2 months ago

"it has military uses"

Govt throws money

level 4

There may be a way where it will stay together while connected by the main tethers to the boat and under tension, but if cut loose will disassemble into smaller pieces with larger holes? Or maybe however they're held together at the end of the net has a coupler that has to be replaced regularly while in use, but will further disassemble the net if left to float freely because it will eventually break apart? Idk I'm just talking out of my ass but there's gotta be some way it can be done.

Even if something was incorporated into the netting itself that made it easier to find. They have that anti-paparazzi clothing that ruins photos that flash is used with. What if a thread of that was woven in, I wonder how far away from bright light it would have to be to react underwater...

level 4

That problem seems hard but it doesn't necessarily seem that much harder than coming up with all those laws the OP mentioned without loopholes and corruption, and then the personnel and infrastructure to enforce those laws, also without loopholes and corruption.

level 3
30 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

Laws exist for a reason, to curb behavior to something appropriate for the whole community.

By imagining nets that could magically dissasemble when lost or discarded, but still should be extremely strong when in use, you are basically saying let's keep throwing nets in the sea.

Change comes with a price. The "don't bother" attitude led us where we are.

level 4
9 points · 2 months ago

The reality is the ocean is big and it's not practical to recover many nets at deep sea without even more equipment and debris being created. Nets that can be disassembled into piles of ropes would just be more harmless debris on the ocean floor until they are either buried or decay.

level 5

They can be made with segments that are designed to quickly decay when lost. Crab pots with cotton or twine doors that rot in a few months and allow the door to fall off, so things don't get trapped inside.

I'm sure similar kinds of things for nets could be made

level 6

Crab pots with cotton or twine doors that rot in a few months

Where I live a strip of cotton is required to put in the sides of the lobster traps so they'll eventually open up if they're lost

level 6

For clarification, I'm entirely in support of decaying nets and was merely commenting on them being pretty simple to do; much simpler and more effective than legal measures.

Not precluding legal measures, but technical solutions tend to have faster impacts.

level 7

The law needs to incentivize that purchase, because nobody would use the decaying nets when the synthetic ones are more practical and less expensive in every way.

level 4

I think the type of vessel that would just dump their nets or not retrieve lost ones is usually the type to not care much for laws and regulations to begin with and would disregard new laws or is probably not well monitored to begin with. Some of the most prolific parts of the fishing industry is also some of the worst regulated and monitored.

level 3
5 points · 2 months ago

All of these things are unrealistic. Most of these are going to happen in countries that have largely unregulated fishing industry, even just by lack of enforcement. For many villages, fishing is still the only industry keeping them going, so putting extra cost would literally kill people. I don’t think you are going to convince them that they need to use more expensive nets either.

Laws and regulation only go so far, and it might be a good step, but it’s not the whole answer.

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level 2

Sounds like a way to make a black market for fishing equipment

level 2

could do netting by weight? Major fine for ooops I lost it.

level 2

You know, fishing equipment is expensive, right? Like fishermen literally go and spend hours with their whole crew resewing nets shoreside. And then on their vessels they reset gear constantly. It isn't in their economic best interest to lose gear willy-nilly.

People lose gear because of accidents and storms. That's why regulations that maybe let the season be a little flexible so a crew doesn't have to go out in absolute shit are important. That's why maps of the ocean floor are valued, so you don't get tangled in an unmapped pinnacle.

Yeah, people who do this for a living aren't losing stuff for the same reason as your neighborhood litterbug.

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level 1

You know that movie called Rubber about the killer tire. They need to make a movie like that about a fishing net. Then when it is about to attack play the Jaws song for an approaching shark.

level 2

That movie blew my mind in 2011. I think me and my roomies watched that and then Hobo with a Shotgun.

I miss that household.

level 1

Intentionally dumped by the fisherman because worn out and not worth it to them to take back to land.

level 2

Or "Oops, lost it in a storm."

level 2
[deleted]
3 points · 2 months ago

The US and Canada have laws that would require jail time and fines up to millions of dollars, the issue is Chinese and Japanese boats who invade countries international waters and do not leave. Peru literally shot and sunk Chinese fishing vessels.

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level 1
32 points · 2 months ago

Fishing industry needs to be held to account but it wont be our spineless politicians that do it.

level 2
12 points · 2 months ago

Government should definitely prevent the tragedy of the commons in the absence of property rights. Even libertarians, with their focus on property rights can get behind this and they might say that this is happening precisely because the open oceans have no "ownership," and therefore property rights can't be enforced. Obviously, the contractual difficulties, historical diplomatic realities, and natural phenomena (currents) means this privatization is basically impossible. Therefore, instead of the free market, one has to rely on the government regulation of their own fleets. However, laws can be gamed by ships flying flags of looser nations. Honestly, at this point, it's either up to governments to seize property, or for "renegade" elements to document malfeasance and for "impacted" third parties to sue these ship operators in the courts of their own nations (if such courts exist).

Personally, not holding out much hope - ocean wildlife will be extinct in short order due to over-fishing and ocean suffocation anyway. Enjoy looking at plastic fauna everyone.

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level 2

Don't eat fish

level 3

Worst advice if you want a healthy diet.

level 4

Completely false. The best dietary advice is to eat fruits and vegetables. There are so many ways to get enough protein and even Omega-3 oils without eating fish.

level 5

People have canine teeth for a reason, omnivores.

level 6

I didnt say we shouldnt eat meat. I said we shouldnt eat fish and make it pretty clear that it is only for the reason that we cannot harvest responsibly.

So that bit about canines is irrelevant.

level 7

Who can’t harvest responsibly,what fishery specifically are you talking about?

level 5

Also if you want to have a small impact on the environment, commercially harvested fish is the way to go. Farming on land pollutes with lots of pesticides and hydrocarbons, never mind the habitat loss for local fauna. The ocean grows my product naturally. I love my veggies but there’s no such thing as a zero impact harvest, of anything.

level 6

commercially harvested fish is the way to go

Not really. Both methods currently have an impact on environment and they cant be well compared enough to say one is better than the other. Even if ocean fish grow naturally, they arent harvested without unnatural waste involved. Trying to imply otherwise is a distraction.

level 7

Why can’t they be compared? Both have the same goal. The large scale harvest of food for the masses. One can compare the fuel used against the food harvested. One can compare environmental impact on the number of species affected by the effort. Everything can be compared especially when the end result is the same, feeding people. This article we are all arguing about is sparse on data, it’s goal is invoke an emotional response not educate. I’m in the industry,it’s a business with long term goals, one of which is being sustainable. A healthy environment is crucial to success fishing, we want success. Why is this so hard to understand?

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level 1

Is there an international license fee for companies to fish in the ocean ? It should be used to clean this up !! Sorta like gasoline taxes pay for roads.

level 2

Everyone pays gas tax and look at our roads, a D rating haha.

level 2

yeah lemme just bust open the fishing piggy bank and get out the ole ocean cleaner.

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level 1

Why is this crap not biodegradable....

level 2
level 3

Net fishing should be banned. Heck, the oceans are depleted of fish anyway and it should be stopped for a while.

level 4

Net fishing should be banned.

Lol you got a better way to catch the 130 million tons of fish the world needs every year?

level 5

Sorry; what do we need fish for?

level 5

"Needs"

level 6

I get it you probably eat a lot of pizza and take out but for a huge majority of the world, fish is a main component of diet that cannot be easily replaced. Not only that, it is a number one occupation in a lot of countries.

level 7

The ocean food chain is well on its way to total collapse. Those people and countries will have to change. The difference between a global ban on net fishing, and no ban, is that in the former scenario the fishermen could still fish - with a line - and people could still eat fish - at a price, while in the latter scenario, there will be no more fishing and no more eating fish, because they will all be dead. Honestly it may already be too late. The ocean acidification already baked into the cake by current levels of atmospheric co2 may take the food chain out at its base - plankton.

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level 5

Even within net fishing, there are better and worse methods. Also, there is hook and line with products labeled as sustainable.

There are relatively cost effective ways to do it but we would rather be a selfish species. That is the only problem.

But we really should cut out ocean fishing for a while. Fish stocks are incredibly low- 5% of 1950 tuna populations.

level 5

Lol what. You realize the oceans are being poisoned with plastic and the number of fish are being reduced rapidly.

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level 2

Why? You need it to withstand season after season in wet, salty conditions.

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level 1

send it to space so we can kill aliens

level 2

Last thing we need is Kepler syndrome

level 1

It's also something like 3/4 of the garbage in the ocean too.

Like literally the great garbage pile you hear about on the news all the time is mostly just old fishing gear.

level 2
3 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago
level 1
[deleted]
5 points · 2 months ago

ITT: People blaming recreational fishers even though they have to use biodegradable hooks, lines, sometimes even barbless hooks but no the Chinese and Japanese fishing vessels that cut off gill nets for no reason or cut off their long lines.

level 1

The ocean is in real trouble. :-(

  • CO2 acidification (a very big problem that takes at least 10,000 years to undo and no we are not about too stop dumping hundreds of billions of tons of CO2 into atmosphere each year)

  • Less oxygen transfer with higher temperature

  • Over fishing and illegal fishing.

  • Ever increasing amount plastic pollution (entering the food chain at all levels. The great pacific and atalantic garbage patches)

  • Banned toxic chemicals and radio active waste dumped / accumulated in deep ocean trenches

  • Oil Spills (BP & etc)

  • Dead Ocean zones getting larger and more frequent (aka Gulf of Mexico & etc...)

  • Krill population has crashed to a small fraction of what it used to be (not enough sea ice to breed under)

  • Coral bleaching

  • Coral death (29% of the great barrier died in 2016)

  • Strontium-90 in the ocean from nuclear tests (small scale but wasn't in the environment prior).

  • Less fresh water due to the melting of the glaciers (not a good look at all)

  • The ‘Great Ocean Conveyor Belt' slowing and/or reversing (affects weather very badly)

  • Agricultural runoff and untreated sewage from many waterways entering the ocean.

  • Damaged ocean floor from decades of trawling and it is sinking due to additional water weight from melting glaciers

  • hundreds of thousands of tons of lost fishing nets / gear that continue catch and kill fish.

etc... (please feel free to add anything I missed).
P.S. IF you like ocean salt on your food you might want to check that as all newly farmed ocean salt has nano plastic in it. edit:formatting

level 2

This should be at the top. Thank you. I knew a lot of these individually, but seeing them all together like this - my god, we are in trouble.

level 2

(please feel free to add anything I missed)

When the "Great ocean conveyor belt" slows, it also raises sea level along the coast. This happens because sea level at the center of each ocean's gyre is higher by a few feet than along the coast. The "conveyor" at the edge of the gyre is also called geostrophic flow and is associated with the equilibrium of gravity and Coriolis force- gravity forcing water toward the coast and Coriolis force pushing water the other direction, toward the western-center of the ocean basin. If anyone out there would like a detailed explanation of which forces of physics cause the Coriolis force, I would be glad to oblige.

You also forgot to mention albedo loss caused by ice loss in the Arctic. The albedo loss itself being a feedback effect of warming which leads to even more warming, as black ocean surface converts more light to heat than an icy surface which reflects light.

level 1

The great pacific garbage patch is not filled with straws, grocery bags, or styrofoam cups. It is mainly fishing nets and other garbage from the fishing industry. On land it's relatively easier to go after polluters but on the high seas these crimes happen out of sight of anyone in authority to stop it.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/a19574763/garbage-patch-fishing/

level 1

Jesus... they must be dumping shit CONSTANTLY to get numbers like that.

level 1

This 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear only accounts for 20% of the poorly designed waste making its way into our oceans every year.

level 1

This is true. Asian nations are BIG perpetrators. This is an international trade issue. Boycot/tarif Asian seafood (that means shrimp especially)!

level 1

Every time I hear something new about what is happening to our oceans I end up wanting to pull my hair out. AND, i really feel like I should take fish out of my diet as much as possible. That guilt is unbearable.

level 2

So take fish out of your diet?

level 2
9 points · 2 months ago

But you dont. You forget until you hear it again or.. what

level 2

We are gonna end up killing all the edible fish in our oceans and end up having to farm all our needs. There are better ways to help than taking fish out if your diet though. One good cleanup effort may save as many fish as u will eat in your life. Or even spreading the information to people that can help

level 3

Or both?

level 2

Ok so take fish out of your diet

level 2

Plenty of ethical seafood out there. Just need to be an informed consumer. You can even catch your own, its fun and easy.

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level 1

this ghost gear is not from rod and reel fisherman.

level 2
7 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

The rod and reel fishermen in my area tend to be absolute fucking slobs; they leave trash and huge wads of tangled monofilament everywhere.

level 2

Maybe not but there is a lot of monofilament line out there, we catch it all the time, that new spectra stuff too. Never goes away. Also catch a lot of fish with lures still stuck in their mouths. I have no problem with rod and reel but there’s no such thing as a zero impact fishery.

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level 1

Those nets are 46% of ocean plastic and after killing unintended fish, they also breakdown into microplastic particles of 5mm or less and are ingested by yet more fish that die from the effects of its indigestability as more and more of those particles accumulate in the digestive tract.

When you buy and eat fish, you sponsor people who discard their nets.

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level 1
4 points · 2 months ago

This is one if not only for the future going to be humans biggest shames on us all.

level 1

Not to mention the Thai fishing industry that supplies the rest of the world uses literal slaves on their boats. Ever wonder where the rest of those Royhingas fleeing Myanmar ended up? Slave boats. Source

Heart of palm and jackfruit are great replacements for whitefish and crab meat. You can make a pretty great raw tuna alternative from tomatoes. Look up Ahimi. Can we all collectively say f*** fishing? It's destroying the oceans and we can eat good mercury and cholesterol free alternatives.

level 1

TIL one of the ocean's apex predators is the forsaken remnants of corrupt corporations.

level 1

Not to mention discarded fishing nets/gear make up the vast majority of the garbage patch. But noooooooo, disposable straws are the problem!

level 1
2 points · 2 months ago

Shit. And I felt bad because I gave a turtle a lip ring the other day.

That's crappy.

level 1

There is more plastic in the ocean than fish.

level 1

“Lost”

level 1

Everyone knows you cut the nets up before you recycle them!

level 1

Who calls it ghost gear?

level 1

Going fishing for night blues later. I'll be extra careful.

level 1

Wouldn't the traps be come full of corpses eventually so they can't trap anymore??

level 2

Most traps have biodegradable ‘doors’ that rot away after a few months.

level 1

Fellow anglers; clean up.

level 1

Most new nets and crab cages are biodegradable for this very reason

level 1

Fucking humans, man.

level 1

it also transforms to plastic particles...

level 1

Once pulled up an old turtle trap. Has a few skeletons in it

level 1

Maybe we can offer an incentive for worn out nets being turned in. Straight cash or a tax deduction? Or you turn in X number (based on how much you normally fish) and your fishing season opens a couple days earlier. And maybe simultaneously narrow the fishing seasons a bit so the extra days are a bigger deal without increasing the overall fishing times.

level 1

That comes home when you get tangled up in some dick head's discarded line wad on the beach or in the water. Sometimes there is a hook at the end too. I'm not a fan of that kind of fishermen.

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level 1

Not to dismiss the harm that lost fishing gear does, but I can't help but think that fishing gear that's not lost might be a bigger threat to marine life?

level 2
5 points · 2 months ago

Probably not. By now there’s way more discarded gear than gear being actively used.

Poor technique like 6 mile tow nets certainly cause damage, but at least they are pulled out of the water at the end, so it’s damaging for a few days or weeks.

A net that gets lost or thrown, according to the article, floats around for years. So there must be a higher number.

Plus, at least there’s purpose for the nets in use. We get food, which slightly reduces damage from other food sources (cattle, farming). The nets floating around are just killing fish and maybe there’s some cycling from decay , but in dead zones there may well not be much nutrient cycling.

level 2

Doesnt matter. The lost gear is replaced. Then both the lost gear and the replacement gear are killing fish in greater numbers than just gear in use would.

level 3

Not true, the gear has to be fished. Piles of net do not catch fish. Fish can see them, fish are not stupid. If this was a real problem we would have stopped it years ago,if a lost net catches fish, those are fish I can’t catch. Doesn’t make business sense and ultimately that’s what drives fishing practices.

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level 1

Know what's even deadlier than lost fishing gear? Not-lost fishing gear

level 2

Would be true if there was a limited supply of replacement fishing gear but sadly there isnt.

level 3

Are you involved in the industry? I’m curious where your getting your info. I work with scientist and am involved in fisheries management and have never heard that ghost nets catching any statistically relevant amount of marine life.

level 1

This is why democracy doesn’t work and I embraced socialism. Corporations will continue to produce until the earth is a radioactive hellhole and everyone is too stupid and believes that just “bonding together” or “regulations” will solve the issue.

Lmao. Keep on believing in the free market and pseudo democracy, we’ll actually be fighting for freedom and a sustainable future.

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level 1

and those gill nets, miles of fishing lines, industrial nets, take decades, even a century to degrade. They aren't even the cause of the micro-plastic problem.

level 1
level 1

Ghost Gear sounds like an awesome line of toys from the 90's.

level 1

I knew this from watching Wild Kratts

level 1
[deleted]
1 point · 2 months ago

Reminds me of Consolidated/Play More Music/Gone Fishing....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cheF22P8eoM

We've been aware of this stuff for a while...

level 1

And they take my single use plastic bags from me at Australian supermarkets. Not ONE of the bags I have used in the last two decades has ended up in the sea - or wasted. Now I have to buy bags for both my groceries and my kitchen bin liner!

level 1

Stuff You Should Know did a great podcast on this called "What is Ghost Fishing?" Definitely worth a listen.

level 1

I did a little research and found that fishing line can last 500 years

level 1
1 point · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

Another reason for the sea lvl rising /s (?)

level 1

half a million tonnes? hard to believe.

level 1

Too bad we didnt have fishing nets before plastic. If only there was something else we could make fishing nets from. Something organic that we can grow, that would be like a victory for many industries..

level 1
2 points · 2 months ago

As life long commercial fisherman I can tell you this is greatly exaggerated. Storms and marine growth make most of this lost gear very tangled and very visible so that it’s not capable of catching anything within weeks of being lost. There are a lot of details involved in catching fish,one doesn’t just throw a pile of net in the water. That doesn’t really work. Again I’m not saying there’s not a lot of trash out there, it’s just that most trash doesn’t catch fish.

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