Another major problem is fishing nets. When fishing nets are lost in the sea, either by careless fishing companies or when ships sink, sea animals, including dolphins, sea lions and seals, get tangled in these nets and die.
ODA has been removing abandoned fishing gear on the ocean floor or attached to shipwrecks for the last 12 years. Crouch joins them as they free trapped sharks and sea lions from the fishing nets left behind on the 70-foot Infidel, which capsized in 2006 about a mile off the coast of Catalina Island with a full load of squid.
"The ship is shrouded in the 9,000-pound netting it was dragging when it sank" to the ocean floor, reports Crouch. Since the ship sunk, the net has become a "death trap" for marine life. "We're talking about millions of lives potentially in a large net like this," said Dr. Bill Bushing, a marine biologist who dives with ODA. "Each one plays a role in the ecological dynamics of the system."
Because the Infidel is so deep (150 feet down), the mission to extract the netting requires expert divers. Don Robarge, one of the scuba divers, says this will be his deepest dive yet. Crouch says, "It's a dangerous dive. Why do you risk your life for this?"
"We love animals and we love scuba diving," Robarge responds. "This gives us a chance to fine tune our skills, but we're here for the environment and the animals that are needlessly killed from this derelict fishing gear that's left in the ocean continuously. I'm disgusted with it frankly."
When the divers reach the shipwreck, they free any aquatic life that is tangled in the net and they attach inflatable bags to the cut sections of the net so they float to the surface.
The Ocean Defenders only had nine minutes at that depth to free as much of the net as they could. Watch to see if they were successful:
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By Brett Wilkins
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the meatpacking industry worked together to downplay and disregard risks to worker health during the Covid-19 pandemic, as shown in documents published Monday by Public Citizen and American Oversight.
<div id="13077" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="11b9fe5ff48ebc437353df6df9c2c892"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1305915938148147205" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Just a week before the Trump administration issued an executive order aimed at keeping meat packing plants open, th… https://t.co/DkbXgPm4YR</div> — ProPublica (@ProPublica)<a href="https://twitter.com/propublica/statuses/1305915938148147205">1600189597.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="36e4c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e7c8048c2755109629a3b3072fcb3261"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1304424041814593539" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Meatpacking union @UFCW, which reps workers at this plant (four of whom died), slams OSHA for the small $13k fine a… https://t.co/tnhfKd89ab</div> — Dave Jamieson (@Dave Jamieson)<a href="https://twitter.com/jamieson/statuses/1304424041814593539">1599833901.0</a></blockquote></div><p>The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, which represents Smithfield Foods workers, <a href="https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/crime/2020/09/10/osha-fines-smithfield-foods-sioux-falls-south-dakota/5768786002/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=f7bf3f03-ce98-4df4-9c45-f44d9a6a5890" target="_blank">slammed</a> the fine as "insulting and a slap on the wrist."</p><p>"How much is the health, safety, and life of an essential worker worth? Based on the actions of the Trump administration, clearly not much," said UFCW president Marc Perrone.</p><p>"This so-called 'fine' is a slap on the wrist for Smithfield, and a slap in the face of the thousands of American meatpacking workers who have been putting their lives on the line to help feed America since the beginning of this pandemic," Perrone added. </p><p>Other critics, including vegans, vegetarians, and animal rights and environmental advocates argued that the accelerated spread of Covid-19 from meatpacking facilities is but the latest compelling argument in favor of reducing—or eliminating—meat consumption.</p><p>"We know that Covid-19 originated in a meat market and that previous influenza viruses originated in pigs and chickens," People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) <a href="https://www.peta.org/blog/meat-shortage-slaugherhouses-go-vegan/" target="_blank">said</a> in April amid news that a Foster Farms slaughterhouse in Livingston, California was <a href="https://www.peta.org/blog/coronavirus-covid-19-slaughterhouse-meat-concerns/?utm_source=PETA::Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=0420::veg::PETA::Twitter::Workers%20Blame%20Major%20Pig%20Slaughterhouse%20600%20Infected%20COVID-19::::tweet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ordered closed</a> by local health authorities due to a Covid-19 outbreak that killed eight employees.</p>
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By Andrea Willige
More than half of the world's population lives in cities, and most future population growth is predicted to happen in urban areas. But the concentration of large numbers of people and the ecosystems built around their lives has also been a driver of climate change.