Gillnets (ghost fishing)
Ghost-nets could be a major threat to the deep sea environment in the North East Atlantic. The Shelf Edge and Deepwater Fixed Net Fisheries to the West and North of Great Britain, Ireland, around Rockall and Hatton Bank consist of some 50 vessels, which at any one time have somewhere between 5800- 8700 km of gillnets cast. Anecdotal evidence suggests that nearly 30 km of net are routinely discarded per vessel per trip. Some of this netting is lost but much is illegally dumped overboard. Some fishermen gather in the nets and store them on deck, but the sheer quantity of netting limits them storing all of it. Therefore some fishermen burn the nets on deck in steel drums, but this has been banned by Norwegian Coastguard due to concerns over the environmental impacts. It is also illegal to carry monofilament nets on deck in Scottish waters and coupled with the high cost of disposal at port has led to most fishermen just bundling up the nets and dumping them overboard.