Abandoned and lost nets pose a major environmental problem. Photo by Thinkstock.

Want to end “ghost fishing”

Fish nets that float abandoned in the ocean continue to catch fish long after they have been lost, posing a major environmental challenge. Degradable fishing nets can be part of the solution according to researchers.

Tired nets and trawls are death traps for fish and animals. World Animal Protection (World Animal Protection) estimates that one-tenth of all marine contamination takes the form of fishing gear. A three-year research project will investigate how self-soluble yarn can be used in the most problematic nets fisheries in Norway.

– In the biodegradable fishing nets are used a material that is eaten by algae, fungi and bacteria in the water. It is possible to control the speed of the breakdown by changing components. In Norway, we need nets that dissolve quickly, says senior scientist Eduardo Grimaldo at SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Full-scale tests done with halibut fishing outside of Senja in Troms, Norway shows, so far,  that degradable yarns have equally good ing as conventional nylon yarn.