Monday, May 19, 2008

Ghost Nets... Who Knew?

Okay, so some days you hear about things and go... crap this little spinning rock I live on has really taken a beating in the last 100 years. We all know that the world is getting greener. But what country is the greenest? I don't know, but it's safe to bet that Ireland should register into the discussion somewhere because of all the Leprechauns. (insert laugh track here). However, Ireland has started to take a more aggressive stance on environmental impact of industrial society on the old country. Recently they instituted the first Ghost Net Hunting Project to reduce some of the impact of commercial fishing.

Ghost nets are basically abandoned commercial fishing nets that are cut lose from boats and left to free float in the ocean. However, some of the nets can be as long as 100 meters square and it is estimated that in the North Atlantic waters almost 620 miles of nets are lost each year. These nets often can live free floating in the ocean to continue ensnaring wild life up to three years after they have been cut from their boat. It's a pretty big deal during the time they are floating, but even worse once they hit the bottom. It is estimated that some of the larger bottom feeding predators in the ocean have been hit the worst with numbers dropping nearly 20 percent.

Thank heavens the Irish are doing something about this! Just another reason to raise a pint on St. Patrick's Day!

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