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The hidden dangers of 'ghost gear' to our marine wildlife

Credit: World Animal Protection

Volunteers are taking part in a dive near St Michaels Mount in Cornwall to try to remove potentially deadly fishing litter from the ocean.

"Ghost gear", as its known, is lost or discarded fishing gear, and can pose a risk to seals, whales and other marine life who can become caught or entangled in the equipment.

Credit: World Animal Protection
640,000
tonnes of ghost gear polluting our ocean every year.

Fishing gear can end up in the water through accidents or poor conditions on the sea, and can remain underwater for hundreds of years.

Credit: World Animal Protection

World Animal Protection and volunteer divers with Fathoms Free marine conservation group are taking part in their first sea dive today from a new boat to recover a large fishing net on the ocean floor.

Fathoms Free has recovered some 8.5 tonnes of litter over two years just from dives from the shore. This new boat allows them to widen their searches and reach areas only accessible by boat.

The new boat is crucial to mapping debris hotspots around Cornwall, how the litter moves along the coastline and how to rid it, and is part of a collaborative project with Fathoms Free, World Animal Protection and Plymouth University.

– World Animal Protection

Fathoms Free reuse the litter, some has been transformed into works of art and some returned to the sea as ocean kayaks