The 2100kg ghost net is destined to be turned into indigenous artworks

A large ghost net has been removed from the Gulf of Carpentaria near Weipa in Queensland, in a joint operation between the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and Parks Australia.

The gillnet, weighing 2100kg, or more than the weight of a four-door family car, is believed to have come from a foreign fishing vessel and drifted into the Gulf from waters north of Australia. The ghost net contained a number of dead marine species, including two sand crabs and a whaler shark, along with live bream that were released.

The ghost net was brought ashore and donated to the Pormpuraaw Art Centre, in Far North Queensland, where it will be turned into Indigenous art.

AFMA’s General Manager of Fisheries Operations, Peter Venslovas highlighted the importance of removing ghost nets from Australian waters.

‘Ghost nets drifting in Australian waters can kill our marine life and be a danger to vessels, so it’s paramount they’re removed quickly,’ said AFMA’s general manager of fisheries operations Peter Venslovas, highlighting the importance of removing ghost nets from Australian waters.

‘Working with various art centres in northern Australia to recycle the ghost nets into art continues to be one way AFMA can raise awareness around marine debris.’

Parks Australia Head of Marine Protected Areas Jason Mundy said managing and removing threats to Australian Marine Parks was a high priority.

‘Ghost nets can be over 100 metres long and drift into some of our most sensitive marine habitats,’ Jason Mundy said.

‘Removing these nets is important for the protection of marine species and the safety of those who work and enjoy our marine environment.’

Source: AFMA, Parks Australia