Hundreds of dead sharks found trapped in massive floating 'ghost net'

A group of divers recently happened upon a disturbing sight in the Cayman Islands — hundreds of decomposing sharks and other sea creatures tangled up in a floating "ghost net."

Dominick Martin-Mayes, a 27-year-old fisherman and diving instructor, told the Independent that he and some friends found the "solid net of dead, decomposing fish and sharks" last week.

"At first we thought it was a log, but as we got closer we could see it was a net with floats," he told the outlet. "I jumped in the water first and was shocked at what I saw. It took my breath away — the first thing I saw was the juvenile oceanic whitetip [shark]."

"I got my buddy who was with me to grab a knife and jump in," he continued. "We did what we could to free some of the trapped life but most of it was already dead."

Photos of the scene: 

Hundreds of dead sharks, fish found trapped in 'ghost net'
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Hundreds of dead sharks, fish found trapped in 'ghost net'
Photo: Dominick Martin-Mayes/Instagram
Photo: Dominick Martin-Mayes/Instagram
Photo: Dominick Martin-Mayes/Instagram

Despite the team's best efforts, Martin-Mayes said he and his friends had to stop the impromptu rescue for fear of becoming trapped in the net themselves.

"The net's sole purpose in life is to kill," he told the Independent. "You get your hand wrapped in it and you drown."

Thankfully, the Cayman Compass reported that fisherman Charles Ebanks rediscovered the discarded net on Thursday and towed it into Harbour house marina the following day. where it was successfully lifted out of the ocean.

The net is reportedly at a landfill awaiting action by an international nonprofit group, which has offered to safely dispose of it.

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