Hunting the haunted Ghost Net
‘Ghost Net’ is a popular term used for the trash and abandoned nets that were once used for fishing. These nets are dangerous for marine organisms who tend to get attracted to these nets, get trapped in them, and kill themselves. Endangered species are at an added degree of risk with such mortality-enhancing factors.
Considering the risk that these nets pose to marine wildlife,
Tree Foundation and the HCL Foundation started an initiative to reduce ghost nets from the ocean. The initiative began in July and traditional fisherfolks are financially compensated for removing ghost nets from the oceans and the coasts. For removing one kilogram of ghost net, the fisherfolks get five rupees. The initia¬tive has benefitted the fishermen community and has also become an additional source of income for some fishermen. The success of this initiative lies in the fact that there has been an increase in the population of Olive Ridley Turtles, and now approximately 8,000 of them return to the sea every year.
The Tree Foundation collaborated with the governments of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Indian Coast Guard. The NGO has started many awareness initiatives by conducting training for fishermen on conserving ocean resources.