Carelessly discarded fishing gear is one of the most dangerous problems marine life faces. Nets, thrown away and forgotten, lead to the deaths of thousands of marine creatures every day.
To clean Turkey's seas, the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry has initiated a project called "Cleaning Abandoned Hunting Gear in the Seas." As a part of the project, the cleaning vessel Reis Bey weighed anchor yesterday.
Speaking to the press, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said it is important to raise awareness about the dangers of abandoned hunting gear. "A 100-meter fishing net can cost the lives of 300 marine creatures. With this project, we aim to protect 1.5 million marine lives as well as the ecosystem," said Minister Pakdemirli.
Every year, 650,000 tons of fishing nets are lowered into the sea and a huge portion of these nets are not pulled back in by fishermen. So far, 16,000 acres have been scanned in 600 locations as a part of the project. Some 450,000 meters worth of fishing nets have been detected and retrieved.