Ghost Fishing is what happens when fishing gear has been lost dumped or abandoned at sea. Lost fishing gear is among the greatest killers of marine life in our oceans. Hundreds of kilometers of nets and lines are lost every year. Any man made contraption designed to catch fish or other marine organisms is considered capable of ghost fishing when left unattended and without anyone profiting from the catch. Ghost Fishing is a serious problem because it affects already depleted commercial fish stocks. Caught fish die and in turn attract scavengers which then get caught in the same net, creating a tragic cycle. Due to the material used to create these types of gear, they can and most likely will continue to fish for multiple decades, possibly even centuries. When gear finally does break apart, further damage is done when marine animals eat plastic particles and chemicals are broken down into the water. Such gear becomes more and more of a problem as other marine pollutants increase and more species become endangered. Since 2010, the Olive Ridley Project freed and rehabilitated 51 endangered turtles trapped or injured in nets. Preventing gear from being lost in the first place has proven far less expensive than retrieval from the depths. For example, Washington State has to spend approximately $190 to retrieve a single unmanned crab pot from the ocean.
In conducting this survey I chose to question people who live off campus considering it was the easiest group of people for me to asses. I asked a discrete set of questions which included these questions in this order:
Would you be willing to pay $10 to asses the damages caused by Ghost Fishing?
Would you be willing to pay $5 to asses the ...
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...ks the economic impacts of Ghost Fishing and if that were provided in the information presented I think that would sway some people 's willingness to pay. As a society, we put a dollar value on almost everything and we have made it the underlining factor of most things that we do and how we do them. Assigning a dollar amount to ecosystems is important in order for many people to understand the value. However, the value and impact goes beyond any dollar amount and the damages caused by this pollution problem are irreversible. That is something we can not put a dollar amount on. Little funding is available for Ghost Fishing. The results of this survey show me that more people are willing to pay than anticipated. If this is so, then more funds can be made possible with the spread of information and strategies to get this money from those who are willing to provide it.
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