Department of Environment rescue turtle from ‘ghost net’

Kevin Morales

Department of Environment officers, en route by boat to Cayman Brac last week, freed a turtle they came across that was trapped in a floating ‘ghost net’.

DoE Conservation Officer Joe Kellog and Cayman Brac Field Officer Martin van der Touw rescued the tangled turtle as they travelled to Grand Cayman from Cayman Brac. The 26 Aug. rescue was captured on video and posted online.

The video, posted on the DoE’s Facebook page, appears to show the turtle swimming freely in the water moments after the net was removed.

Ghost nets are fishing nets left or lost in the ocean by fishermen. The nets can be dangerous for marine life as they can trap animals or get hung up on reefs.

In April 2018, a ghost net with dead sharks and hundreds of other fish trapped inside was discovered on a reef north of Grand Cayman. It was towed to shore by local fishermen and removed from the water.

Another was found in May with a dead reef shark entangled in it. The incident prompted the DoE to appeal to the public to notify them of any ghosts nets they see while on the water.

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