Recycling center employees sorting through materials

Ocean Defenders: Protecting Marine Life One Fishing Net at a Time

Scuba divers and volunteers from the Ocean Defenders Alliance often embark on dangerous underwater missions, risking their lives to recover abandoned fishing gear that settles hundreds of feet at the bottom of the ocean floor.

The goal is twofold: To protect dolphins, sea lions, seals, and other marine life from getting tangled in fishing nets, and to restore the ecological balance of the ocean.

On a typical mission, divers are able to pull up more than 1,200 pounds of abandoned nets from a shipwreck. The divers work tirelessly to cut away at massive fishing nets and freeing animals that are trapped. Over the years, the fishing net has become a death trap for animals like dolphins, seals, and sea lions.

If it weren't for the Ocean Defenders, thousands of pounds of fishing nets and abandoned gear would remain at the bottom of the ocean, entangling fish and marine life.

Correspondent Angie Crouch visits the Ocean Defenders Alliance on a recent mission off the old Marineland pier where a submerged deepwater caisson is trapping sea lions and sharks.

Featuring Interviews With:

  • Dr. Bill Bushing, marine biologist
  • Jason Mannix, scuba diver
  • Kurt Lieber, founder, Ocean Defenders Alliance
  • Don Robarge, scuba diver
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