But for ocean animals, one of the spookiest things floating in the water isn’t even alive: it’s called ghost fishing gear. Long after fishing equipment like nets or pots have been abandoned and forgotten by people, this “ghost gear” continues to haunt the ocean, entangling, smothering and killing marine life.
Two weeks ago, one harbor seal pup had a terrifying experience with an abandoned fishing line that he’s only just starting to recover from.
Sign up for Azula’s newsletter to bring the latest ocean news and crazy-cute animal videos straight to your inbox.
He was found and rescued by the group Marine Mammals of Maine, who were able to untangle the line. The line had cut through the animal’s fur down to the muscle and the wound had become infected.
Seal pup caught in #ghostgear now being treated @MarineMammalsME for bad infection where line cut him. Stay tuned..pic.twitter.com/JWjnvFIGtt
Thankfully, the team was able to get the seal stabilized and on the road to recovery. He still has to go through rehab before he’ll be well enough to return to the wild, but he’s feeling well enough to be giving his caretakers sass about riding in a kennel.
Goodnews! #Seal pup that was caught in #ghostgear well enough to go to rehab! (There was attitude about the kennel)pic.twitter.com/hrrbGY7lJd
As bad as he had it, this seal was fortunate to be found and rescued. But surviving in the ocean shouldn’t depend on the luck of avoiding or being rescued from man-made death traps like ghost fishing gear.
Learn how you can help vulnerable marine animals by signing up with Oceana.