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Gruesome images of hundreds of sharks and fish trapped in a drifting ‘ghost net’ in the Caribbean have caused outrage across the world.
The upsetting pictures were captured by a photographer who spotted the net floating four miles off the Cayman Islands.
Dominick Martin-Mayes took to Facebook in disgust after capturing the horrific scene which he said killed most of the fish caught up in it.
He estimated that the huge net weighed several tonnes and measured around 40ft across and 40ft down.
The 27-year-old said he tried to free the trapped fish, but added many were ‘dead and decomposing’.
Speaking to the Independent , he said: “At first we thought it was a log, but as we got closer we could see it was a net with floats.
"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. We did what we could to free some of the trapped life but most of it was already dead.”
In an update on Facebook, he said the net was too big and heavy to move.
However, the Cayman Islands’ Department of the Environment later confirmed it had been recovered and was waiting to be shipped off the island for recycling.
Deputy Scott Slaybaugh told Cayman News Service the net had become caught on a reef off the north coast of Grand Cayman.
However, after it was spotted by a local watersports operator, a major search was launched involving a plane before it was eventually located and recovered.
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