Hawaii's Net Patrol battles ghost fishing gear

September 13, 2016 | Environment
Abandoned fishing nets: a threat to sea life | Photo: USFWS/Creative Commons

In just one year alone, Net Patrol has already removed 47,000 pounds of marine debris off of Kauai's coastlines.

The program, run by the Surfrider Foundation in Kauai, pulls derelict fishing nets from the Hawaiian shores. Barbara Wiedner and her crew dedicated 3,000 hours of volunteering to remove these floating threats from the ocean and beach.

Abandoned fishing nets have become a global danger, and they represent 10 percent of all marine litter. Ghost fishing gear is responsible for the death and injury of turtles and many other sea animals.

"Fishing nets are the number one cause of injury to whales in Hawaiian waters. In fact, one in four whales is scarred from entanglement with ghost fishing gear.

Tragically, these nets kill over and over again, as they do not break down in the ocean," Net Patrol explains.

One-third of all the plastic marine debris pulled from Net Patrol in the last year was up-cycled to another life through partnerships with Method and H-Power.

"Barbara is a perfect example of what makes the Surfrider Foundation unique to other environmental and ocean conservation organizations ­- volunteers like Barbara turn local passion into lasting protection for our coasts. With her feet in the sand, she is the first to know and respond to issues facing our coasts," adds the environmental organization.

Join the Surfrider Foundation, and help programs like Net Patrol remove even more marine debris and nets from our ocean.

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