What is it?
Ghost fishing gear is what happens when commercial fishing gear is lost or discarded.
So what is the big deal?
This discarded fishing gear can cause serious problems for marine animals. Fish get caught in nets or on lines and die, this attracts predators who also get caught causing issues across the food chain.
This is a global issue, causing harm to fish, reptiles and mammals everywhere.
Locally we have seen the effect which ghost fishing gear can have on the wild seal population.
Our marine rescue centre has rehabilitated wild seals who have been injured by fishing gear.
Have have recently seen two seals with terrible injuries, which have been caused by ghost fishing gear.
Helena eventually lost an eye after getting caught in fishing hooks and Ringo had serious injuries to his neck after getting caught in a net.
Both seals were brought in for treatment and recovered well. However not all seals will be this lucky.
What can we do to help?
If you see some discarded fishing gear on a beach:
If it is safe to do so, remove the fishing gear, although this will stop curious animals getting caught.
Otherwise, you should report it to your local council for removal.
There are also some charities doing amazing work to tackle the problem at its source. Check out Ghost Fishing UK who are a team of volunteer divers who remove ghost fishing gear.
You can also write to your MP to highlight this issue and spread the word on Social Media!