• Outdoors Outdoors

Diver issues PSA after spotting floating mess in middle of ocean: 'It was heartbreaking'

"This is so sad."

"This is so sad."

Photo Credit: TikTok

A diver and owner of an ecotourism company took to social media to share her upset over a mass of discarded fishing gear she found floating in the ocean.

Kayleigh Grant (@mermaid.kayleigh) runs an ocean safari company that takes people out to explore Hawaii's Kailua-Kona coastline. As she explains in her TikTok video, she and her team came upon a mass of entangled ropes and nets in the water one day. 

@mermaid.kayleigh This mess of ghost gear is drifting far & wide through the sea collecting more trash, nets, ropes etc to create a hazard for larger marine life like whales, dolphins, turtles & more. We rarely talk about how ghost fishing gear is a huge issue in marine litter making up an estimated 640,000 tons of marine debris. Not all fishing is created equal. If you're able to fish for yourself or support local, smaller scale operators, that is ideal for a smaller impact. Of course, if you're able to give up seafood all together thats the biggest imapct you can personally make but its not always an option for everyone especially coastal communities. Another thing you can do to make a positive impact on marine debris is reduce your use of single use plastic like water bottles, bags, utensils etc. @KaimanaOceanSafari ♻️ #marinedebris #ghostnet #ocean #cleanuptheocean #ghostgear #hawaii ♬ Belonging - Muted

She explains that the "ghost net" broke off from a commercial fishing operation somewhere in the ocean and now drifts long distances, endangering marine life.

"We don't talk about enough what a massive negative impact ghost fishing gear is doing to our oceans," she says in the video. "An estimated 46% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is fishing-related gear."

She further says that her group contacted the appropriate authorities to remove the patch, as it was too heavy for them to remove themselves.

According to the Olive Ridley Project, ghost nets like these cause significant dangers to marine life, trapping and killing animals, such as sharks, bony rays, sea turtles, dolphins, whales, and sea birds, as well as smothering coral. It can also devastate coastlines and damage boats, the organization says.

Luckily, some good Samaritans are doing what they can to fix the problem. For instance, a volunteer-based group in Greece is taking to the waters to remove ghost nets from the sea — so far, they have removed more than 28 tons of this ocean menace. 

Meanwhile, it's also vital that we rescue animals that have become entangled in ghost gear, and that's exactly what a group of ocean conservationists in Namibia did in 2020 when they came across a seal pup trapped in fishing wire.

🗣️ What of these benefits would most effectively motivate you to use fewer plastic-packaged cleaning products?

🔘 Freeing up shelf space ✨

🔘 Avoiding toxins and microplastics ☠️

🔘 Saving money 💰

🔘 Not interested 🚫

🗳️ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

Commenters shared Grant's disdain of ghost gear, with one person simply saying: "This is so sad."

"In 2019, I did a beach cleanup at Kamilo Beach (garbage patch) when we were on Big Island," another added. "It was heartbreaking."

Join our free newsletter for cool news and cool tips that make it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider