Ghost Fishing | Clearing the rubbish out of our waters

Ghost Fishing | Clearing the rubbish out of our waters


I see it as a fight for our future
generations I want them to be able to enjoy the marine environment as much as
we enjoy it now, trying to get as much of this junk out and improving that in the
marine environment for the creatures that live in it is critical for us and
is critical for our future. Ghost fishing is when the redundant nets that are left
in place continue to fish and the cycle of fishing is still continuing in a
ghost capacity so you’ve got dead creatures already in a net, live
creatures feed on the dead fish and creatures in the net, and entrap
themselves and the cycle continues on and on it’s quite a devastating cycle.
Internationally it’s a huge problem with commercial fishing nets et cetera,
for us locally we’re dealing primarily with sort of more marine debris – bottles,
cans, shopping trolleys, plastics et cetera and we’re trying to remove as much of that
from the marine environment as we possibly can with each event which we
hold monthly. Typically we’ll dive for about an hour in winter, obviously it’s a bit cold so we don’t want to dive too long during that time they’ll fill their
catch bags with as much as they possibly can – glass bottles, fishing lines, hook
sinkers, whatever they come across and that will get ferried back to the shore
crew who are waiting on the shore for the rubbish to be hauled up on shore. When all the rubbish comes up from the
ocean, gets dumped into a deep critter station, me and my team will go through,
we’ll remove all the animals out of it and make sure that when the rubbish goes
back to the tip it’s not full of life and there nothing gets wasted. Yes, come on, come on. This one is a baby Common Octopus, or
the Maori Octopus. Third largest species in the
world, find this all over New Zealand. This was inside one of these bottles
here, this is what’s swimming around in oriental bay in our Wellington Harbour,
so most of the animals will just go back to the wild get returned back to the
ocean. Every now and again we’ll find some animals that are really awesome and
what they’ll do is they will go back to the island bay and marine education
centre, they end up being put on display so we can show the public what’s
actually living in our rubbish in the Wellington Harbour, because a lot
of people actually never get their head under water. On our dives the process to
remove the rubbish is we will attach some lift bags which is a giant gas
filled bag which we create to point at positive buoyancy on the object, the
object will head to the surface our highly capable free diving team will
swoop in there, grab it, bring it back to shore and where a shore crew will take
over. And what’s the issue with them being in the cone?
Well it’s mainly that this isn’t their natural habitat, so this plastic
and everything will eventually start to break down obviously what it’s
made out of will be leaching out into the waters also a lot of the animals say
seaweeds and things will start to grow on them, and obviously that’s not
their natural substance to be attached to. So you get excited about the stuff
you find and at the same time like man why can’t these people stop,
particularly when you’re finding repeated cup lids and straws and stuff,
last time we pulled up a crab that was so tangled up on fishing line that the
crab couldn’t move and that was just heartbreaking, but at the same time while
we’re here doing it and it’s getting less and less rubbish around as we
go so that’s really cool. So awesome to see so many
people come together to make a difference and a good haul of stuff
too which is great to get it out of the ocean. Well we pulled out today literally
everything including the kitchen sink so we’ve got an old porcelain sink that’s
all smashed up into bits, multiple tires the usual suspects with street cones,
I don’t know how with one, two, three, four five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, must be over 20 Street
cones. You can see a lot of the sort of stuff and here fairly typical fishing
gear car wire lures, flasher rigs and stuff. They’re designed specifically to
entrap creatures I mean it’s a a lure designed to catch fish and they do
exactly what they’re supposed to do really well, so yeah even once they’re
in the water we’ve still found dead fish attached to lures and
stuff that have you know literally predated on the stuff on the seabed.
I dive all the time and I surf as well and so you know massive passion for the ocean
and so for me it’s been a way to look after the ocean and give back to what
the oceans given to me. All these starfish, all these snails, all these kitens and limpets and jingle shells and all sorts of other animals, they’ll all
be going back to the ocean. Back to our Wellington Harbour. This work is really important for protecting our oceans for the future, marine
conservation is just so key for the survival of the health of our oceans,
we want to preserve it for future generations, unfortunately there’s a lot of rubbish on the seafloor and it’s kind of out of
sight, out of mind, but there are sites here in Wellington that are absolutely
shocking in terms of the volume of rubbish on the seafloor,
we just need to get it out.

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