But as heart-breaking as Puri’s story is, he is one of the lucky ones.
Every year, hidden beneath the oceans across the world, thousands of marine animals are being trapped and killed by “ghost gear” — abandoned nets and forgotten fishing lines.
Donate today to stop more seal pups like Puri from being tangled in and tortured by abandoned fishing gear.
Globally, between 500,000 and 1 million tons of fishing gear are entering the ocean every year.
Ghost gear is the deadliest form of marine plastic pollution. It was designed to kill. Abandoned fishing gear can carry on trapping everything in its path for decades after being used, and hundreds of animals can be caught in a single net.
Ghost gear is a contributor to the ocean plastics crisis, too. Nearly HALF of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (which covers an area six times the size of New Zealand) is made of fishing gear.
These tragedies happen close to home -- to Aotearoa’s local and native species, some of which are already endangered. You may have seen the stories of dead Hector’s dolphins washing up on the beach wrapped tightly in a net. Or the fur seal pup found dead on Makara Beach near Wellington. There are too many of these stories to count.
And it’s happening all over the world. Sea turtles with flippers so damaged they need to be amputated. Whales drowning when they cannot swim to resurface for air. Dolphins starving to death because their mouths are shut by nets. Their deaths are often slow and painful, lasting months or even years.
Your generous donation today will help us:
Through the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, WWF is hard at work with conservation partners, fishers, and supporters around the world to achieve ghost-gear-free seas. In 2015, a single WWF-led mission in the Baltic Sea hauled up 268 tons of nets, ropes, and other material.
But we can’t do it alone. Please make an urgent donation today to help reduce the needless deaths caused by ghost gear.
Many of us are doing our bit to reduce plastics pollution, but it’s time that governments and businesses took their full responsibility too.
Join our fight. Call on our governments to introduce a global legally binding agreement to stop plastics polluting our oceans!
Plastic doesn’t belong in nature.
Right now, animals like Puri the seal pup are suffering, trapped in plastic fishing gear designed to keep them trapped.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Together, we can create a future with no plastic in nature.