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Retrieving a ghost net

Giving Marine Life a Ghost of a Chance

During a recent trip to the Mediterranean to study the social ecology of long-finned pilot whales and their reaction to the sound of predators, members of the MED-11 Alboran Sea cruise took time out from their work to retrieve a drifting fishing net. So-called "ghost nets"—discarded or lost fishing gear—kill or ensnare thousands of sea birds, fish and marine mammals every year. From kilometer-long nets to tiny particles, marine debris is a large and growing problem in the world's oceans. In addition to ensnaring or choking animals, plastic pieces can act as vehicles that transport microbes across vast distances, scientists are discovering. (Research was conducted under a permit #14241 issued by NMFS under the authority of the MMPA and the EPA. Funding was provided by Office of Naval Research. This is for scientific presentation. Photo by Daniel Ottman.)


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