Sharks play an essential rol in the health of our oceans

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A great threat to sharks – and our oceans

Commercial fishing, whether it is gill netting; trawling, purse seining or long-lining- always has varying degrees of by-catch, amounting to anywhere from 60-90% of the total catch. Every year there are easily billions of these unintended catches, considered to be of no commercial value, causing incalculable and very likely irreparable damage to fragile aquatic ecosystems.

But commercial fisheries cause other problems, by losing and abandoning fishing gear, that can keep on fishing for months, years, or even longer- this is called ghost fishing.  Ghost fishing is universally recognized as detrimental to the environment and the fish stocks, and is mainly due to the sturdy, non-biodegradable materials that fishing nets (and pots) are typically made of.

All ocean creatures can be caught in these nets: bony fish, sharks, rays, but also marine mammals and turtles.

Shark_Derelict_net

A shark in a derelict fishing net.

But recreational angling can also create problems. Lost ‘single’ fishing lines and hooks can also keep fishing, and entangle marine life.

Have a look at the pictures of Eleonora de Sabata, who participated in and organized a clean-up dive during the Bioblitz Event in the Italian Mediterranean. The team cut and removed countless fishing lines, recreational and professional. Great work, guys!

Catshark_lines

The picture that showed the reason for this action: an dead adult female catshark, entangled in lines.

See all pictures of the Bioblitz Event at:

https://www.facebook.com/edesabata/media_set?set=a.10153413067399301.1073741845.794714300&type=3

Ghost Fishing info:

www.ghostfishing.org

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