Ghost Nets and Ghost Fishing
So where did this ghost net that entangled Basil came from? Ghost nets are discarded, abandoned or lost fishing nets at sea. These nets are responsible for a process dubbed as ghost fishing. They drift with the currents and trap marine animals which then become bait for larger animals such as sharks, turtles, whales and dolphins and they themselves can become entangled and are stuck in nets for weeks, months, and even years. Most sea turtles and other marine animals trapped in ghost nets suffer from life threatening injuries and in many cases death due to exhaustion and starvation. Many marine animals also mistake these nets for food and thus ingesting them which in turn can cause serious illnesses and even result to death.
Haunting Coral Reefs
Ghost nets are also harmful to our coral reefs. Sinking to the sea bed, they can smother the coral reefs and block out sunlight which the reefs need. Hitching a ride with these ghost nets are microorganisms and invasive species. We need to take care of our coral reefs now more than ever. 50% of the entire world’s corals is gone. Corals are the rainforests of the sea providing ecosystems for diverse marine life.
Basil is one of the very few lucky ones. Although he suffered from deep entanglements, his wounds are not too deep and thankfully, there was no bone exposure. Currently, Basil is recovering at Olive Ridley Project’s Rescue Centre. He’s still not using his front flipper as it is still swollen. But the dedicated veterinary team of Olive Ridley Project is hopeful that Basil is going to make a full recovery soon. In fact he has been diving and eating well at the Rescue Center.But not everyone is as lucky as Basil. Many sea turtles, sharks, dolphins, manatees, whales, and other marine creatures end up dying entangled in ghost nets. Even sea birds also fall victim to these nets.
We Must Act Now
We must act now and clean up our oceans to stop ghost nets from haunting these beautiful marine creatures. Anyone can get involved and contribute to the prevention of ghost nets. One of the simplest things you can do is removing any ghost nets you see when you’re swimming, snorkeling, or walking by the beach. The Olive Ridley Project since it started in 2013 has been working tirelessly rescuing sea turtles and protecting its habitats. We’ve partnered with them with our Sea Turtle Legend Bracelet to help their efforts in removing ghost nets from the ocean. Help us help save more sea turtles and other marine animals!