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[DAY 71] Ghost Nets

One big problem that we have witnessed are ghost nets. They are nets lost at sea or have been discarded by fishermen.

I never encountered one when I have been in the water but we spotted three from our sailboat. One of them was too big to get on board, so Maria got on the kayak and tagged it with a GPS tracker. Ocean Voyage Institute, one of our NGO partners, gave us 5 trackers that are specifically designed to tag ghost nets. They are white buoys about the size of a soccer ball. Once they are attached to the nets and turned on they send the location of the net to Ocean Voyage Institute. The Institute gathers the information and is planning on sending vessels to collect them.

The other two nets where smaller and Ty jumped in the water to get one of them and the other was pulled out by Paul and Maria.

These nets are a big hazard for sea life, many creatures get caught in them and die. Since they are made out of plastic, they are very strong and last for many years.

It is very alarming that we encountered 3 in such small time and over such small area. Being at sea is always an adventure but unfortunately the adventure is less about sea life and more about our negative impact on the sea.

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10 comments

  1. I am so glad you were able to do something about the ghost nets you came across. Here on Cape Cod we see the terrible effects as whales arrive with their mouths tangled in these nets unable to remove them and unable to feed themselves. It is very difficult to get these nets off. Thank you for preventing 3 terrible incidents.

  2. Good. Glad your team attached the gps devices so they can pick them up. I think there needs to be legislation to not pollute the seas with these kinds of things

  3. Hi Ben,

    I have experience only 30 min legs tangled in a net floating near the ground which I hadn’t. Good,that you Work for the collection of it. We should Stop fishing with them.
    Poor sealife creatures dying in These nets.
    Go on collecting Thema. Thanks so much
    Brigitte

    1. It appears returned to Japan less than two weeks ago (typhoon passed nearly 400 nautical miles to his position and turned in the north around his position), according to the crew tracker : 521 NM 60 days, so maybe 9 or 10 NM each day, 4 hours a day = speed 2.5 knots. The north Pacific is difficult and long, so very late in the season even with a sailing boat for asistance.

  4. Looks like you guys are on the move – heading out, beam reach in 16 knots? Maybe 3-4 days to reach the swimming spot? Great to see the update on the tracker – and I look forward to seeing you swimming into SF in a short while.

      1. Hey Ben & Cew,

        Good mood, Gentle breezes and Giant motivation for your re-start.
        We are with you.
        Blessed be your journey
        Brigitte

  5. We are facing ghost nets and fishing lines with hooks near the Mediterranean beach. Sometimes it is got stucked in reefs and kills many poor sea creatures.

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