We went out for Scuba-Diving on the 12.09.2012 to our local Island Reefs to do some clean up, small rubbish bags and plastic. But we were overwhelmed when we saw a big net about 30m in length and 15m in width stretching and hanging over the pinnacle at Koh Talu at our first dive site!
Fishing in these waters can cause problems like this because the fishermen throw the net, which will too often get entangled into corals! They will then just abandon the net and leave it on the reef! This not only leads to death for so many fishes and other marine life, such as turtles and cuttlefish, but also causes serious damage to the coral life. If not removed, more and more marine life gets entangled and dies from starvation and suffocation!
Many People don’t know that most of our Oxygen gets produced by Corals, but if they are stressed by a net they will die, fishes will move away and the whole reef becomes a “Serengeti Desert”.
Corals are the slowest growing creatures in the world! Some of them will only grow as slow as 0.01 millimeter per year, even the fastest growing corals only grows about 1 centimeter per year. But they can die in a day!
We removed the net as carefully as we could to not break more corals than had already been damaged and I was glad to have 4 other divers with me to help take care of it! I couldn’t have done it myself! Thank you very much to Jai, Roxanne, Happy and El! With all 5 People we were not able to remove the net on our first dive so I took the guys back to our boat and returned to remove the rest of it by myself!
When we did our second Dive at Koh Meaurai which was supposed to be a Fun dive we came across another huge net about 20m in length and 10m in width, lots of dead fishes entangled and struggling ones too! We carefully cut out those that were still alive, but, sadly, they were few! There was a tasseled Scorpionfish entangled in the net; Scorpionfish are very dangerous and it’s even more dangerous to cut them out of the Net but fortunately we could manage without getting stung!
We managed to get the two nets on the boat and once back on shore, we ensured proper disposal.
I wish something could be done urgently to improve and implement better fishing practices, not just in Asia but throughout the world, in order to maintain and preserve our fragile and diverse marine life system!