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Terrible death toll in Plymouth Sound gill net

Yesterday our core team responded to a report from IFCA of an abandoned gill net in an area of Plymouth sound.

Upon arrival, the team spotted the net floats on the surface and a juvenile swan swimming towards the danger. While the team prepared to dive, our skipper took a quick video to highlight how close many birds come to entanglement from fishing gear. The plan was to post that today along with some photos of the recovery.

Sadly, what we found was far worse...

The photos speak for themselves and, be warned, they are quite graphic.

The only survivors caught in the net were a handful of crustaceans. Everything else had perished.

Nets are indiscriminate wildlife traps, and the net doesn't know if it's just been set or is lost; its purpose is to trap animals. Once a fish is caught in the net, it looks like an easy meal for other animals such as birds or marine mammals. Both of which need to breathe at the surface. Once caught in the net, they suffer a horrific death of drowning after fighting for their life.

Please share this post and support Fathoms Free's continual work in clearing the seas around Cornwall and Devon.

We're lucky to have the larger RIB Shadow loaned to us by our UK Ghost Gear Coalition partners Captain Paul Watson Foundation UK However, our overheads for boat maintenance, storage, insurance, fuel and other running costs, continue to grow each year. None of our team are paid and all volunteers pay their own expenses and use their own personal dive gear to keep operational costs to a minimum. We'll be doing another Christmas fundraiser in December if you value the work we do.

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