Serious threat to endangered river dolphins, turtles, otters because of ghost fishing

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According to recent research, ghost fishing in the River Ganges poses a threat to wildlife including otters, turtles and dolphins, new research shows.
The study says entanglement in fishing nets could adversely harm species including the critically endangered turtle and the endangered Ganges river dolphin. Surveys show that the level of waste generated from fishing gear is highest near the seas. All fishing nets are made from the plastic material.
Because of the inappropriate disposal system and short life span of fishing nets, fishermen dispose of fishing gear waste in the water bodies.
The study was led by researchers from the University of Exeter, with an international team including researchers from India and Bangladesh. It was conducted as part of the National Geographic Society’s “Sea to Source: Ganges” expedition.
Because of fishnet entanglement, many species get injured or killed. The study also focused on estimating which species are more at risk. There is no system of recycling the net. While interviewing fishermen, it is found out that fishermen reuse the nets if they can, but ultimately they discard them in the rivers and sea. The study aims at finding solutions to the given environmental concern. The study throws light on the fact that a significant portion of fishing gear is made of nylon and can be used in making carpets and clothing items. Collection and recycling of discarded fishing nets would save the environment and generate employment and income.

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