The Northwest Straits Marine Conservation (NSMC) Initiative has been awarded $4.6 million in economic stimulus funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association to pull derelict fishing nets from Puget Sound.
These funds, directed to the non-profit foundation arm of NSMC, will alow the immediate hire of vessels and crews to remove an estimated 3,000 nets from the seafloor. The project will employ 40 people, restore 645 acres of marine habitat and should be completed in 18 months.
“Derelict fishing nets are actively killing enormous numbers of fish, seabirds and other marine animals,” said Ginny Broadhurst, secretary of NSMC.
“We now have the funding needed to get 90 percent of the derelict nets out of Puget Sound forever. These waters will be safer for boaters, divers and marine life.”
For more information about derelict fishing gear, visit www.derelictgear.org
or call 360/428-1085.