While out diving we came across a big Ghost Net stuck to the seafloor. Ghost nets are nets that have been left/lost by fishermen. They harm a great amount of sea life each year and cause massive damage to our marine life. Fish get caught in the net and with no way of getting out, are left there to die. There was dead fish in the one we found, but no sharks or rays. This was not found at Goat Island. But not far out from another marine reserve (tawharanui).
We were out diving at Jones Bay Near Auckland. Pretty murky water but We wanted to photograph octopus so didn't matter. suddenly this huge shadow forms infront of us. The shadow dont move and reaches towards to surface. On closer inspection it turned out to be a Ghost Net. We decide to get it loose from the seafloor to bring it back to shore. The net was massive and struggling with our dive knifes to cut it loose in the meantime not to get tangled in the nylon was a struggle and a half.
We finally manged to get the net loose and Stone (our strong dive instructor) got the job of towing it back to shore. Fighting against the current with the big net slowing us down we were quickly getting low on air and eventually had to surface swim 100 meters back to the beach. Now 100 meters isn't normally that long, but when you're towing a Ghost net filled with lead weights, dead fish and bouys, in choppy water, it seems like for ever. Finally managed to get the net into the shallows and dragged it up the beach. We had to empty out the dead fish and packed it up to safely get rid of it.
Help the ocean and its animals by reporting any Ghost nets you see (if you can't bring it back, note the location) If you want to read more about Ghost Nets and see how you can help see: ghostfishing.co.nz