Model Barbara Meier is the new project ambassador for the WWF campaign against ghost nets
Model and actress Barbara Meier is the new project ambassador for the WWF campaign against ghost nets in the Baltic Sea. “The oceans are much more than just recreational areas or a breath-taking backdrop. We must better protect our oceans and stop them from being polluted with plastic waste,” said Meier.
About ten percent of the plastic waste in the oceans comprise ghost nets (lost or discarded fishing nets). In the Baltic Sea alone, up to 10,000 fishing nets are lost every year. Meier will publicise the negative impact of ghost nets to the public.
To highlight the issue, she was photographed with a fish cutter after a dive in the waters of Rügen. “We had dived into a wreck where there were ghost nets were entangled. The ship's hull was entirely wrapped in old plastic nets, which was obvious even in the low visibility,” said Meier as she described her experiences in her first dive in the Baltic Sea.
The actress was impressed by the subsequent salvage of the ghost nets. The nets were marked with buoys, cut free with a fish cutter and then hoisted on board. “It is time-consuming to track down ghost nets and retrieve them from the seabed, but it feels good to know that the Baltic Sea is a little cleaner now,” said Meier.
Her bond with the sea had started when she was a child. “As a child, I often listened to whale songs and was fascinated by the mysterious realm of the sea. It is clear that plastic waste in any form damages the ocean.”
The WWF calls upon divers to report ghost nets which they come across when diving in the Baltic Sea (as we had reported previously). The ghost nets' location, description and photos can be sent to Geisternetze@wwf.de and the data would be entered into a database of the Baltic Sea.
To date, the WWF has retrieved five tons of ghost nets off the coast of Rügen and Usedom during this salvage season.
For more information, visit: www.wwf.de/.../projektfortschritt-geisternetze/.