On a lot of our website, you’ll notice we focus on the horrendous damage Ghost Nets cause. That’s for a reason - it’s actually terrifying and it’s not a problem that's really covered.
If you’re reading this, you likely already know how our Tangle lead is stopping fishing nets turning into Ghost Nets. If not, take a look at our process here. In this post, we wanted to highlight other processes that need to happen to ensure we solve the Ghost Net problem.
As a business, we actually started because we were bored of corporations, governments and industries pussyfooting around talking about change, but not actually doing it. We’re going to be calling these bad actors out soon - keep your eyes peeled for that.
When we have their attention, we don’t just want to shame them (okay, we want to shame them quite a bit) but we also want to provide suggestions as to how they can rectify the problem they’re ignoring. Here are a few simple ideas:
Idea 1: Adopt tagging, marking & tracking
Tagging nets has already proved successful for smaller fisheries in pilots. It builds in a sense of accountability and fear of being caught. Right now, fishermen can dump their nets overboard completely risk free. The ocean is huge and so many fisheries are doing it - so it’s impossible to police. Fishermen know this and ultimately, it’s just plain laziness.
If nets are tagged, when they wash up it means they can be traced back to the boat that threw them away. This leads me onto the next point…
Idea 2: Appropriate punishment
If you’re caught fly tipping on land, you get fined. If you keep doing it, you go to prison. Pretty simple.
If you’re caught dumping nets in the sea, you basically get away with it. If you do it again, you get away with it, again. The thing is, doing this at sea is far, far worse. As you’ll have seen, thats when those nets start causing the real damage.
Punishment needs to be appropriate for the crime committed. The idea that the ocean is a dumping ground is actually f*cking disgusting. Stunning animals we all admire have their habitat ruined by lazy, greedy businesses.
The suggestion is quite simple - if you dump your nets, you should be fined. Not just a slap on the wrist but an actual heavy fine, something like losing the value of an average days catch. If you do it again, you should have your fishing licence taken away. I can guarantee the industry will take notice with a policy like that (which is actually enforced).
Idea 3: Sustainable ports
Fishing nets are hard to dispose of and recycle, often because ports don’t have the facilities to allow for it. Investment into turning ports ‘green’ will result in a decrease of lost Ghost Nets. It makes so much sense. You can then collect the nets and recycle them into new products. Yes… like a dog lead. Accessible and proper disposal facilities are crucial to make change.
It’s time to turn these ideas into reality. Our mission at Tangle is to raise awareness of Ghost Nets to affect real change. If not, these ghosts will haunt our oceans long after we’re gone and long after life in the seas is dead.
If you’re keen to follow our journey and support us, either buy the Tangle Lead or keep in the loop with the action we’re taking by signing up to our newsletter below. We’re going to be naming and shaming people, so you don’t want to miss it.
Fight the Ghost Net problem #withTangle