Ghost Nets

Nets are used worldwide to catch fish, an important source of protein for many communities around the world. The Food Aid Organization (FAO) estimate that fish accounts for almost 17 percent of the global population’s intake of protein — in some coastal and island countries it can be more than 70 percent.

However, nets when abandoned or discarded can be a problem to the marine ecosystem.

Ghost nets refer to such fishing gear and can include various other fishing apparatus like traps and long lines. These gear can spend years drifting in the open ocean and eventually end up tangled onto a coral reef or rocky shore.

A relatively unknown marine hazard, ghost nets can continue to catch fish and other marine life for many years especially if the nets are made out of synthetic material that does not easily disintegrate.

Large marine life will be entangled in these nets leading to starvation due to their inability to look for food. Trapped marine life will also become easy prey to predators. Larger marine life like the dugong and turtle that have lungs can drown once trapped in a ghost net as they need to surface frequently to breathe.

Ghost nets that eventually end up on the reef will smother corals, blocking access to much needed sunlight. If not removed, their ghostly presence will continue to haunt the oceans for years to come.

In the game, we show that ghost nets will cause destruction to nature.