Several nets, ropes and hooks that made their way into the sea caves where Mediterranean monk seals breed during the recent bout of severe weather were removed on Friday by the fisheries department.
A specialised team was tasked to remove what are known as “ghost nets” from the caves.
“Ghost nets” refer to all types of fishing gear, including nets, ropes, hooks and traps which are no longer actively managed by fishermen and that have been abandoned, lost or discarded at sea, on beaches or in ports.
They are extremely dangerous for the delicate seal population in Cyprus, especially for pups that risk getting entrapped in the gear.
“Every year, ghost nets are responsible for the trapping and killing of a significant number of marine animals such as seals, turtles and dolphins,” a statement released from the fisheries department said.
“They can also cause further damage to vessels and small boats. Marine litter is a global environmental problem as it poses a threat not only to animals, but to the entire ecosystem.”