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Public Domain Picture: February 6, 2013 EPA Divers help with abandoned fishing gear in Puget Sound

Courtesy: US Environmental Protection Agency
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February 6, 2013 EPA Divers help with abandoned fishing gear in Puget Sound
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February 6, 2013 EPA Divers help with abandoned fishing gear in Puget Sound
Decades of commercial and recreational fishing has left Puget Sound littered with massive amounts of abandoned fishing gear. The nets, ropes, and lines take their toll on marine life and degrades habitat, they have even become a hazard to tidal power stations. The Northwest Straights Commission, Marine Conservation Initiative (Northwest Straights), has been assessing the ecological health of Northwest inland marine waters. Northwest Straights has been working to survey and remove this derelict fishing gear from the Sound with EPA’s help. Where do you begin across such a large body of water? The primary goal is to remove any nets that are located by sonar. However, nets move and sometimes the sonar images of potential nets turn out to be other things. The EPA Region 10 dive team has been helping to make the process more efficient by prescreening sites and providing maps of confirmed nets to speed up the removal effort. EPA receives three types of information related to potential derelict net locations: 1) side-scan sonar imagery and GPS coordinates where bottom topography and bathymetry show a high potential to snag abandoned nets; 2) reports from fishermen and other reputable sources that have direct knowledge of net locations; and, 3) shoreline reaches with high potential for hosting derelict gear. Divers are deployed in pairs to determine if derelict nets are present. When lost gear isn’t found, that helps to narrow the focus and limited funding on other sites. For more information: and Join the conversation on
Date Added:
April 30, 2014
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US Environmental Protection Agency

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US Environmental Protection Agency (Flickr Photostream)
External Site: US Environmental Protection Agency
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