Congratulations to the Carpentaria Ghost Nets Programme which,
for the second year in a row, has won a Banksia Award in the new
Indigenous category, Caring for Country. The category recognises
the important work that the rangers are doing on country.
Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been lost accidentally,
deliberately discarded, or simply abandoned at sea. The Ghost Nets
programme came about because Indigenous Sea Rangers noted that
turtles were being caught in the nets with many marine turtles
becoming trapped and dying. The aim of the project is
- To clean up the coastline in the Gulf of Carpentaria of
existing nets to stop them re-entering the ocean,
- To collect useful information about these nets to assist
negotiations by various parties in stopping fishing nets becoming
Ghost Nets, and
- Capacity building of Indigenous Rangers to continue work on
ghost nets beyond the life of this project.
In 2006 the Carpentaria Ghost Nets Programme won the Water
Category Award for its contribution in lessening the impact on
marine turtles by ghost nets.
According to the program’s website, nearly all of the
marine debris entering the Gulf is related to fishing and
originates from all parts of South East Asia. Once the nets enter
Gulf waters, they are caught in a circular current; washing ashore,
going out to sea and then washing to shore again.