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Thailand removes ghost nets covering coral reef - video

In Thailand, a group of dozens of divers removed broken ghost fishing nets covering a coral reef in the Gulf of Thailand. As many as forty local divers took part in a coral reef clean-up operation in the Gulf of Thailand. The work resulted in the removal of ghost nets that had been wrapping the
Published: June 23, 2021 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 22:49
Thailand removes ghost nets covering coral reef – video

In Thailand, a group of dozens of divers removed broken ghost fishing nets covering a coral reef in the Gulf of Thailand.

As many as forty local divers took part in a coral reef clean-up operation in the Gulf of Thailand. The work resulted in the removal of ghost nets that had been wrapping the coral in a death grip for weeks.

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removal of broken spectrum networks
Unfortunately, spectrum networks are a huge problem in Thailand Photo Jorge Silva

Theremoval of ghost n ets was carried out by the local diving community last Saturday and Sunday. In just two days 2750 m² of stripped ghost nets were retrieved from the water! The underwater work was carried out on a coral reef near Koh Losin Islandabout 72 km off the coast of Pattani province. The organisers estimate the value of the stripped nets at over 1 million baht (32,000 USD).

A death trap

The excavated ghost nets had lain on the coral reef for about a month and a half. While removing them, dive volunteers discovered long strands of fading coral. This is a serious problem as the waters around Ko Losin Island are a protected area. At depths of between 13 and 26m, the divers discovered a 500m² area covered by faded coral.

Spectrum nets are a major problem in Thailand. The most difficult part of the whole operation was removing the nets from the coral Acropora cervicornis, which has masses of branching and is extremely fragile. To make matters worse, it is a coral critically endangered by extinction said Wannapa Thammasangwan, one of the dive volunteers from SOS Group

Fighting windmills

The divers hooked idrodynes (air-filled buoyancy bags) into the nets and then gently cut out the fragments that had become entangled in the coral reef. The volunteers made a total of six trips over one weekend. As a result of their efforts, a large section of the reef was cleaned.

retrieval of stranded nets from coral reefs
The nets were retrieved using special idrodyn Fot Jorge Silva

Unfortunately, as they themselves stated in an interview with local media, this type of problem is standard. Every year, ghost nets do great damage and are then removed by local divers. This is why volunteers like Wannapa Thammasangwan monitor reports of ghost nets. They carry out about five similar actions a year, and they do it all at their own expense.

Forty volunteer divers and Coastal Resources Research Center staff were supported by Royal Thai Navy sailors and vessels.

According to UN reports every year, approximately 640 000 tonnes of broken fishing nets enter the oceans. Under water, they turn into deadly traps that wreak havoc on local fauna and flora.

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About author

Julia
My love for scuba diving started as a 12-year-old in the Canary Islands, at which time I took my first Open Water Diver course. This love for the blue turned into a huge passion that accompanies me to this day. Although blue is hard to come by in the Baltic, no conditions are terrible for me. In this sport, I find peace, patience, courage, focus, and balance. I have recently started to engage in underwater modeling and I am fulfilled with this.
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