Beacons of hope

by Webmaster, 6th March 2019

A new trial is hoping to reduce lost fishing nets and pots and help save marine life

Plastic pollution may be one of the key issues of the day, but apparently lost or abandoned fishing nets and pots can be far more deadly.

Every year, millions of dolphins, seals, lobsters and other marine life are killed after getting caught in what is known as 'ghost gear'.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation says it can make up to half of all marine litter in some places.

But a new trial to prevent ships accidentally snagging nets and sailing off with them has just started. By putting a beacon on a buoy at each end of a net, it's hoped that vessels will now know where the nets are and change course accordingly.

The test is being conducted by fishermen in Devon. Beacons cost £800 for a pair and, if the experiment is successful, the fishermen hope funding can become available so the practise can be carried out across the UK.


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