Ghost net recovered, headed for recycling

| 20/04/2018 | 43 Comments
ghost net

Ghost net off the coast of Grand Cayman (Photo by Dominic Martin-Mayes and Pierre Lesieur of Stingray Watersports)envi

(CNS) UPDATED: The Department of the Environment has confirmed that the ‘ghost net’ which was floating off the coast of the Cayman Islands over the last week, has been successfully recovered and is now waiting to be shipped off island for recycling. The net was towed to Harbour House Marina on Friday by Captain Charles Ebanks, who discovered the gruesome fish graveyard yesterday, along with DoE staff. Ebanks had secured it to a mooring in the Rum Point channel overnight and the net was bundled tight with ropes before it was brought to shore.

DoE Deputy Director Scott Slaybaugh told CNS Thursday night that Ebanks had found the net off the north coast of Grand Cayman and, as feared, it was caught on the reef. Ebanks was able to drag it off and secured it to a mooring until it could be brought in this morning. The tangled and twisted ball of abandoned net has ensnared hundreds of fish and has become an international news story.

Following news of the discovery by staff from a local watersports operator while they were out fishing Monday, the DoE had used the reported coordinates to try to find the drifting ghost net via an aerial search with the help of the MRCU plane. But a combination of currents and changing weather made the hunt near impossible, and so an alert was issued to all sea and air traffic in the area to help track down the net to stop it gobbling up more fish.

The DoE had said it was like looking for a needle in a haystack and conservationists were despondent that the net would not be found and would continue its deadly trawl through the ocean. News that it has been found has therefore come as a great relief.

In the meantime, the existence of this ghost net has made headlines around the world, highlighting an increasingly common situation in the oceans. The issue of abandoned and lost nets has been of concern to conservationists for some time and is just one of a growing number of threats to marine life.

With the recovery of this ghost net, marine scientists may now learn how long it has been in the sea and where it may have come from, as well as answer questions about the negative impact abandoned nets have on our oceans.

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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What I want to know is where were all the sharks that were supposedly trapped in the net?

    • Anonymous says:

      Me too! I think the original finders may have exaggerated both the size of the net and the amount of deaths it was causing.

    • West Bay Premier says:

      Anonymous 4:22 am , you assume that it would be a group like Parley , but you’re not sure . So then it could be anyone who could take this net and do whatever. No article on the finding of this net states the name of the group that is taking the net . So who are they ?

  2. Anonymous says:

    As far as I know the net would not have originated from any ship based in the Cayman Islands. While it may be obvious to us in Cayman, it is important to inform the International readership. Perhaps CNS can check with the Maritime Authority what are the obligatons of ship owners under international law.

  3. Shining bright says:

    Well done. He just gets it done no fanfare or media frenzy. We all should take that approach in every day life. I hope they use this ghost net/pet cemetery as an education tool.

  4. Debbie does Dullards says:

    Congrats and local and International awards are due to Capt Charles Ebanks on this great discovery of the ghost net.
    Hope we hear more stories and like Guy Harvey and oothers, hope awareness for our oceans can come out of it all. Do hope our Government and new Governor can give him an award soon. Lets all ask for it.

    • West Bay Premier says:

      Who is this private non profit group ? Is this a group that go around world and keeps the shit out of the fan when things like this happens . Did anyone really investigate to know who they are ? Or would they take this net and salvage it rather than destroying it . I think that we should really know before we let them take it out of our possession .

      CNS , do you know if this group is legit ?

      • West Bay Premier says:

        Do we know that it is said that a private International non profit group is supposed to be taking the net of the Island to :”dispose of it” . Who is this group ? Did anyone investigate who they are ? I think we should know who they are before the net be released to them .

      • Anonymous says:

        I had assumed it would be a group like Parley, Parley collects ocean plastic and makes a fabric which can be used for shoes like Adidas:

        I think they would like this net because it would save them a lot of collection costs compared to going around catching those tiny plastic beads.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Top man!

  6. Anonymous says:

    The best part is there will be no investigation and no person or group will be held responsible for this gargantuan amount of litter and environmental hazard either here or internationally despite “international press attention”

    • Anonymous says:

      There wasn’t a name tag on the net which makes tracking down the owner next to impossible and too much like hard work.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Why does Government have to do everything. The private sector used these nets so it’s only fair that the private sector solve the problem.

  8. SSM345 says:

    Who needs Police when we have Charles! Charlo for Premier!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Another real hero that sadly will be passed up on fake Hero’s Day. No politricking involved therefore no medal.

      • Anonymous says:

        He was not passed up on Heroes day when he caught the robbers. Perhaps he’ll also receive recognition for this.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Great job by everyone. Especially Captain Ebanks. Hats off to you Sir.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Waiting for the chapter 3. #1 discovery #2 relocated and secured #3 show us all details. I am sure lots of interest worldwide.

  11. Spokentruth says:

    Hello? Which Captain Charles Ebanks? I know of a couple; 1) Capt. Charles Marvin Ebanks and 2) our robbery foiling fisherman. Anyways, I hope whichever one it was he gets proper credit and reward for being an ocean environment hero! Well done, Captain. At least ppl should see Caymanians are good seamen, I hope….some even without a degree, but abound with good common sense and true love for the marine life!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Capt Charles, my hero!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Not all heroes wear capes!

  14. Anonymous says:

    High time for an MBE nom for Charles’s repertoire of good deeds.

    • Anonymous says:

      yes, today bobo 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree.. Let’s get this going. Obviously he is someone that cares about the environment of his homeland and wishes the best for it and more importantly DOES something about it.

  15. West Bay Premier says:

    Good observation Captain Ebanks , it really shows that you’re very observant about your surroundings in whatever you are doing . This really shows that when he’s fishing he is not only looking for for fish , we should all be like Captain Ebanks. .

    • Anonymous says:

      He is a true definition of Cayman Kind and Selflessness. He should be made Chief Coastguard Officer when we finally get one; end of story.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Give him a hero’s award next time! (If he doesn’t have one already)

  17. Anonymous says:

    I hear the DOE don’t have enough or adequate boats to conduct searches for poachers let alone ghost nets. When will the powers at be take our environment seriously and spend money on staff and boats at the DOE?

    • Anonymous says:

      Great Work by Bobo. I cant help but notice DOE couldn’t find it and the hugely internationally hailed local marine foundation guru gave up and said in the [other story] it was gone beyond hope of finding . Meanwhile it was rafted up by Rum Point reef. Some humble mahi-mahi cakes to be served.

      • Anonymous says:

        Like all visitors to the islands.. they end up at Rum Point.. Should have looked there first, would have found it with a drink in it’s hand. 😀

  18. Anonymous says:

    The story has been picked up internationlly

  19. Anonymous says:

    Not today Bobo does it again! Nice work Capt!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Well done Charles, between catching nets, fish and robbers you are a star.

    • Anonymous says:

      Trust me, if you ever have an emergency on the sea Charles is a good friend to have. Forget calling the police!


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