• Harold

    This is an excellent & important article! It’s a problem that’s only growing by leaps & bounds, and needs to start coming to light. An unmentioned, but possibly deadlier, side effect is what happens as the hundreds of thousands of ghost traps rot. As the steel rusts & bubbles out, the vinyl cracks & breaks. Each pot can release up to 1,000 vinyl flecks. This photo shows 277 little vinyl flecks from lobster traps that I found in a 25ft x 4ft stretch of wrack at a local cove in Biddeford, ME last week. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=352687248106249&set=a.122614981113478.7778.112882848753358 These are small enough to get ingested by small-brained sea creatures. The jagged edges no doubt rip delicate innards. And if the toxins on the scraps are released in the gut, the effects are biomagnifying up the whole oceanic food chain. It’s got to stop.

    — The Flotsam Diaries

  • Erin

    It’s great to see Boston Magazine recognizing the efforts to address derelict fishing gear in Massachusetts. The Fishing for Energy partners — NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, Covanta Energy Corporation, Schnitzer Steel Industries, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – have taken on this challenge and invested more than $500,000 in the state for projects that remove marine debris and research its impacts on the environment. Fishing for Energy has ten bins in Massachusetts – one of nine states participating in this national effort. To date, we’ve collected over 1.4 million pounds of gear across the country, and 342 tons from MA alone. Our partnership wouldn’t be a success without the dedication of the commercial fishing industry, state managers, and non-governmental organizations who make use of our dumpsters and grant program. Keep up the good work!