Under Water, Old Nets Are Silent Killers – Kitsap Sun

11/13 Kitsap Sun
Under Water, Old Nets Are Silent Killers
By Tara Garcia Mathewson

An old gill net covers the seafloor like a blanket. Small forage fish swim through its holes untouched — but a baby seal is not so lucky. When Jim Norberg and Jake Johnston dive down from the Twila Dawn to recover the lost net, they find the seal, dead and still bleeding.

Casualties like this are far too common throughout the Puget Sound because of gill nets that keep fishing long after boats have lost them. Norberg and Johnston are part of the Northwest Straits Derelict Fishing Gear Removal Program. On Thursday, they dove in Apple Tree Cove off Kingston. They and others have been have been pulling up nets — as well as the sea life they’ve trapped — in the waters of Puget Sound since the end of July.

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