Does the term ‘Ghost Fishing’ mean anything to you? It’s a marine crisis which is becoming a severe threat to our oceans. The problem relates to materials that are discarded into the sea by the fishing industry, mostly including abandoned fishing nets but also rope, buoys and other plastics.
The term ‘ghost’ arrives from these (sometimes miles long) sections of net, drifting across the surface of the ocean, catching everything that swims into its path. The nets eventually get so heavy they will sink to the ocean floor until the organic matter in them decomposes and they are light enough to rise to the surface again. Given the high-quality synthetic plastics which make up the nets, this process continues cycle after cycle, devastating ecosystems, whilst also shedding incredibly harmful microplastics.
To put into context, discarded fishing gear accounts for 10% of all marine waste. As a result, it is estimated over 650,000 animals die each year from getting caught in the nets. This is partly due to the nets being near invisible at dim light just below the surface. Animals most often caught, include sharks, whales, dolphins, sea turtles and seabirds. On average, 11 large whales are caught in ghost nets every year.
As surfers and water lovers, we have to ask ourselves what we can do to help tackle this problem.
A company called Bracenet recovers old fishing nets and reinvents them as products we can use in our day to day lives.
Simply put, the more products they can manufacture, the more nets can be pulled from the ocean to save wildlife and reduce plastic pollution.
Surfdome has teamed up with Bracenet to create a surfboard leash string to help them with their mission in retrieving ghost nets and also to provide a functional accessory for our customers. Every surfer needs a leash string to attach their board, so we saw this as a great opportunity to help fight the ghost net problem.
The Surfdome team have tested the leash strings over the past winter, and although not tested in anything “Wave of The Winter” worthy, we have found them to be just as strong and perform equally to any other strings we have used.
For a limited time, we will be giving out a recycled ghost net leash string free with every board purchase. You can shop all our surfboards here.
Want to find out more? Check out the video below.