Sea Ghosts

Studenti DIstav Scienze Naturali e Ambientali

The Sea Ghosts

The “Sea Ghosts” exhibition, presented at the Natural History Museum G. Doria during the Genoa Science Festival, has been designed with the aim of showing the ghost-nets issue. This problem, even if it isn’t very well known yet, pose a huge threat to marine life.

But let’s get to know better what these “ghost nets” are and where the idea and need to talk about them comes from.

When we talk about “sea ghosts” we refer to all dismissed or broken fishing tools (nets, lines and hooks) which have been accidentally or voluntarily lost or dumped by fishermen to the sea floor.

Why should we be worried about them?

The ghost nets are no longer useful for fishing, but they continue to trap everything in their path causing the death of a lot of animals. “How” you probably ask yourself? Well, first, there are over HALF OF A MILLION animals PER YEAR getting killed by those fishing tools. Not just fishes, but also marine mammals, sea birds and sea turtle get entangled into them and trapped to death as they can’t get back to the surface to breathe. In the second place, even when those heavy nets are laying on the sea floor they suffocate everything that’s beneath them, stopping anything else as corals and sea grass from growing above!

The ecological footprint left behind by sea ghosts is enormous, and “print” was, indeed, the theme of this edition of Genoa Science Festival. This, beyond the unconditional love for the sea and the creatures who lives in it, is what made us Marina Lippolis, Claudia Chimenti, Matteo Acquarone and Teresa Montali, four students of Natural Science from the University of Genoa, coming up with the idea of this exhibition. We first come across this problem when we reach out the beautiful world of scuba diving, but we realize the feeling of impotence you get when you find yourself in front of an innocent animal who has died pointlessly. This is “just” one of the many issues we discussed, along with some solutions to them. Our mission as Scientist and Science Communicators is to raise awareness among as many people as possible, about a terrible problem which is silently touching all of us. We hope that this is emerged with our “Sea Ghosts” exhibition.

EcoeFISHent Sea Ghosts
Marina Lippolis

Marina Lippolis

Studentessa UniGe

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