Enough to wrap the Earth 18 times. Scientists have counted the amount of fishing line that enters the ocean
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Researchers estimate that in 65 years there will be enough lost fishing gear to wrap around the entire planet.
fishing. Lost fishing gear continues to drift in the ocean, and hundreds of helpless sea dwellers fall prey to these “traps,” writes Science Alert.
A group of scientists led by marine socioecologist Kelsey Richarson of the University of Tasmania decided to calculate how many hundreds of thousands of kilometers of fishing line enter the ocean every year – the results horrified the scientists.
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During the analysis, scientists turned to the fishermen themselves – about five hundred fishermen from seven countries took part in the survey. They all spoke about the amount of lost fishing gear, the peculiarities of their use and the factors that contribute to such pollution of the ocean.
The results of the survey show that every year so much fishing line is “lost” in the ocean that it could be 18 times encircle the planet. If pollution continues at the same rate, then in just 65 years there will be enough fishing line and nets at the bottom of the ocean that they would be quite enough to cover the entire surface of our Earth.
In the course of the study, the scientists found that the types of ships used affected the losses. For example, smaller fishing boats lose more gear, presumably because larger boats are better equipped. The scientists also found that trawl nets are more likely to get lost when they reach the bottom than when they are used at shallower depths.
It should be noted that bottom trawling brings about a quarter of all seafood, but it also causes irreparable harm to the environment. It is known that over the past half century, the number of sharks and rays has decreased by 70% – the main reason for the decline in the population of these species is considered to be discarded nets and longline hooks. In 2019 alone, researchers counted more than 1,000 cases of net entanglement among sharks and rays.
Then, Christian Parton, a marine biologist at the University of Exeter, cited the case of the shortfin mako shark as one example. The fishing rope, covered with shells, wrapped around the body of the shark, it continued to grow – as a result, the rope literally dug into the body of the mako shark. Scientists insist that the loss of fishing gear in the ocean is a real problem for marine life, such vise from fishing gear can cause pain, suffering and even death.
Richarson notes that the results of the study look terrifying, but they are also also show some positive trend – the researchers noticed that in comparison with 2019, the number of lost fishing gear has decreased. Apparently, this is due to the development of fishing technology.