Underwater Abandoned Nets (Ghost Nets) Off Kerala Coast Major Threat to Marine Ecosystem (Download PDF)

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Ghost nets have become greatest killers of the marine ecosystem off Kerala coast. Ghost nets have destroyed or threatened underwater reefs required for flourishing fish stock by ‘stifling cover’. Globally, an estimated 10 % reduction in fish catch is blamed on ghost nets.

Image of Underwater Abandoned Nets

Image of Underwater Abandoned Nets

Image of Underwater Abandoned Nets

Harms of Ghost Nets

  • Entangle fish, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, dugongs, crocodiles, seabirds, crabs, and other creatures, including the occasional human diver.
  • Restrict movement, causing starvation, laceration and infection, and suffocation especially in species which need to return to the surface to breathe

Types of Ghost Nets

  • Large nets deployed by fishing vessels in territorial waters sometimes get caught in underwater reefs, forcing the fishing vessel to abandon them.
  • Smaller ghost nets are used by fishermen cut off by a passing vessel get entangled in rough features.
  • Some ghost nets swivel down the ocean floor being caught in the current.
  • Finally, some ghost nets get abandoned after three or four uses and remain under water possibly for centuries.

- Published/Last Modified on: August 2, 2017

Environment/Ecology

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