Local environmental NGO Żibel has reminded people that fishing above shipwrecks is illegal, due to the dangers it may pose to wildlife and divers alike.
For World Ocean Day, celebrated today, Żibel shared a video of the latest ghost net which they recovered from the Hephaestus wreck at Xatt l-Ahmar in Gozo.
In the last three years, Żibel has collected almost 100 ghost nets from Malta’s waters. In the latest one, a small ray was even found dead.
“Wrecks are a refuge for marine life and so when fishermen get too close to wrecks, inevitably their nets get stuck on parts of the wreck. This is dangerous to divers and fish alike. The nets also damage the wreck, pulling off or bending small parts,” Żibel co-founder Andrew told Lovin Malta.
“It is illegal to fish on wrecks, however, we have been sent nets and cages on at least two other wrecks this month. We aim to be on-site as soon as the weather permits since new nets make the most damage, killing the highest amount of fish,” he explained.
“Thank you to all the divers who report nets to us, thanks to you we can get there before more damage is done.”
“Today is a day for sea, our most important asset as an island nation. Here’s to you, our beautiful Mediterranean Sea,” Żibel said on Instagram.
Żibel is also encouraging divers and fishermen to continue reporting abandoned nets to them so that they can be recovered and environmental consequences can be minimised.
Check out Żibel on Instagram at @zibelofficial to find out more about their endeavours
What do you make of this latest video?