Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Undersea Superheroes Save Imperiled Marine Life

Animals
Undersea Superheroes Save Imperiled Marine Life

Marine life is threatened on so many fronts, including ocean acidification, warming temperatures, plastic pollution, overfishing and bycatch.

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.

Ocean Defenders Alliance divers cut the netting from a capsized fishing boat to free tangled marine life.

KCET correspondent, Angie Crouch, visits the Ocean Defenders Alliance (ODA) on a recent mission to free trapped marine life and remove abandoned fishing gear.

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:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Thousands to Rally Today Against Taiji Dolphin Slaughter for “World Love for Dolphins Day”

Why Cuba-U.S. Collaboration Is More Important Than Ever

23-Year-Old Hasn’t Produced Any Garbage in Two Years

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will boost the immune system. Stevens Fremont / The Image Bank / Getty Images

By Grayson Jaggers

The connection between the pandemic and our dietary habits is undeniable. The stress of isolation coupled with a struggling economy has caused many of us to seek comfort with our old friends: Big Mac, Tom Collins, Ben and Jerry. But overindulging in this kind of food and drink might not just be affecting your waistline, but could potentially put you at greater risk of illness by hindering your immune system.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A graphic shows how Rhoel Dinglasan's smartphone-based saliva test works. University of Florida

As the world continues to navigate the line between reopening and maintaining safety protocols to slow the spread of the coronavirus, rapid and accurate diagnostic screening remains critical to control the outbreak. New mobile-phone-based, self-administered COVID-19 tests being developed independently around the world could be a key breakthrough in making testing more widely available, especially in developing nations.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A meteorologist monitors weather in NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on July 2, 2013 in Riverdale, Maryland. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Trump White House is now set to appoint two climate deniers to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in one month.

Read More Show Less
A plastic bag caught in a tree in New Jersey's Palisades Park. James Leynse / Stone / Getty Images

New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.

Read More Show Less

Did you know that nearly 30% of adults do, or will, suffer from a sleep condition at some point in their life? Anyone who has experienced disruptions in their sleep is familiar with the havoc that it can wreak on your body and mind. Lack of sleep, for one, can lead to anxiety and lethargy in the short-term. In the long-term, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, there are proven natural supplements that can reduce insomnia and improve quality sleep for the better. CBD oil, in particular, has been scientifically proven to promote relaxing and fulfilling sleep. Best of all, CBD is non-addictive, widely available, and affordable for just about everyone to enjoy. For these very reasons, we have put together a comprehensive guide on the best CBD oil for sleep. Our goal is to provide objective, transparent information about CBD products so you are an informed buyer.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch