ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek and Dutch divers have removed two tonnes of discarded plastic fishing nets from the seabed in northern Greece, where they posed a risk to local marine life, including a rare endangered species of Mediterranean seahorse.
The nets from the coastal region of Stratoni will be recycled into yarn to create products like socks, sportswear, swimwear, and carpets, according to the Healthy Seas organization, which works in the North, Adriatic and Mediterranean seas to clear waste.
Since 2013 Healthy Seas has removed 453 tonnes of abandoned nets from the seabed. Because they are made of non-biodegradeable plastic, they could remain in the sea for hundreds of years. Virtually invisible, marine life can easily become entangled.
Each year some 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear is left in the sea, Healthy Seas said.
Greece is home to many endangered species, including sea turtles, seals and dolphins.