Kirsten Gilardi, et al have published an article in the Marine Pollution Bulletin (online December 2009), "Marine species mortality in derelict fishing nets in Puget Sound, WA and the cost/benefits of derelict net removal."
Gilardi, director of the SeaDoc Society at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, has been managing a program since 2006 to retrieve lost and abandoned nets, traps, fishing line and other fishing gear to reduce harm to marine animals, boats and divers. When fishermen lose or abandon their gear, it does not decompose in seawater and can remain in the marine environment for years. It can continue to "catch" marine animals that become entangled or trapped. The gear can damage the habitat upon which it becomes entangled or upon which it rests. It can pose an underwater hazard for boaters, swimmers or divers, too.
Now, along with more than 14 tons of fishing line alone retrieved from docks and other areas in California, scientists have also gathered data to compare the cost of retrieval with the benefits to marine animals.
A free abstract is available from Science Direct at the following URL: http://bit.ly/dwFxOi
"Marine species mortality in derelict fishing nets in Puget Sound, WA and the cost/benefits of derelict net removal," Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 60, Issue 3, March 2010, Pages 376-382
Learn more about the Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project and why it is so important to the protection of marine life.