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Derelict fishing gear with animal carasses found by the USFWS Puget Sound Coastal Program. Photo: Joan Drinkwin/USFWS https://flic.kr/p/8TX8CQ (CC BY 2.0)
Derelict fishing gear with animal carasses found by the USFWS Puget Sound Coastal Program. Photo: Joan Drinkwin/USFWS https://flic.kr/p/8TX8CQ (CC BY 2.0)

Ghost nets still fishing in the deep waters of Puget Sound

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Lost and abandoned fishing nets, which have killed millions of sea creatures in Puget Sound, still lurk in deeper, darker waters, where they continue to catch fish and crabs. But the quiet, unregulated killing has been quelled substantially since 2002, as divers have pulled up nearly 6,000 of these so-called “ghost nets.”

The challenge for the future is to find and quickly remove newly lost nets, while going after the difficult-to-remove nets still fishing in more than 100 feet of water. Programs are moving forward on both fronts.

Read the story from Christopher Dunagan in our magazine series Salish Sea Currents