A lesser known advocate of ghost gear cleanup is the geophysical industry. Seismic vessels tow miles of sensitive listening equipment to pick up faint acoustic signals returned by geological strata miles below the surface. Ghost nets and other marine debris are a serious problem for seismic vessel operators. But as people who live a good part of their lives on the ocean, seismic operators do more than remove the debris and move on. They remove the gear from the water, often many tons of it, and carry it to port for recycling and proper disposal. If it is possible to safely do so they are often able to rescue turtles, fish or marine mammals from certain death in the entangling debris. Recently the IAGC began its Marine Debris & Ghost Net Initiative to catalogue exactly how much of this debris our members remove each year from the oceans. Our members are in a unique position to perform this environmental service and have been doing this work for years. While each vessel may only be clearing a small portion of the vast ocean, and saving a relatively small number of marine animals from this ghost gear, they provide a massive, invaluable service to our marine environment.
All of us who work on the sea and spend a good part of our lives on the oceans care deeply about the marine environment and quite often go out of our way to reduce the damage done by other human activities. Our livelihoods depend on the worlds’ oceans and our industry takes particular care to ensure the longevity and health of the marine environment. In addition to installing turtle guards and carrying out mitigation measures to safeguard marine mammals, the seismic industry is working daily to combat the debris and fishing gear discard that is becoming a growing concern in our environment.
Read more on IAGC's World Oceans Day celebrations, read HERE.
More details on the IAGC Marine Debris and Ghost Net Initiative coming soon!!!