Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism
Gill nets range from 200 feet to more than a mile in length, they are weighted at the bottom and held upright by floats at the top, creating what some have deemed "walls of death." Fishes are unable to see the netting, and unless the mesh size is larger than the fish, they get stuck. When they try to back out, the netting catches them by their gills or fins, and many suffocate. Others struggle so desperately in the sharp mesh that they bleed to death.
Because gill nets are set and then left unmonitored, trapped fishes may suffer for days. Many bleed to death before the ship returns to take them out of the ocean. Those who make it to the deck alive are ripped out of the net by hand and suffocate or are cut open while still alive. Fishes who were caught deep in the ocean suffer from decompression, and the extreme change in pressure can cause their stomachs to be forced out of their mouths.
The resistance of nylon to decay, and the large amounts of netting which are deployed in some driftnet fisheries, has lead to a further fear that segments of netting which are inevitably lost during fishing, or which are deliberately discarded, may continue to “fish” for an indefinite period of time, and are capable of entangling birds and marine mammals near the surface for years.
This video is an example of discarded gill netting, there are countless examples like this one occurring every day across the globe. Thankfully, this one had a happy ending.
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