When synthetic non-biodegradable fishing nets are lost, abandoned, or discarded at sea, they may continue to catch fish and other animals for a long period of time—a phenomenon is known as 'ghost fishing'.
New research shows that a biodegradable net material can be used to create nets that have similar catch rates as conventional nets but decompose after a certain period of time under water.
The Animal Conservation findings suggest that biodegradable netting may become a feasible alternative to conventional nylon netting and can contribute to reducing ghost fishing.
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S. Kim et al. Use of biodegradable driftnets to prevent ghost fishing: physical properties and fishing performance for yellow croaker, Animal Conservation (2016). DOI: 10.1111/acv.12256