Groups remove 40 tons of fishing nets from Pacific Ocean

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Environmentalists cleaning up plastic in the ocean pulled 40 tons (36 metric tons) of abandoned fishing nets this month from an area known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The crew of volunteers with the California-based nonprofit Ocean Voyages Institute fished out the derelict nets from the floating trash patch between Hawaii and California.

Group founder Mary Crowley said Friday that the effort is aimed at ridding waters of nets that entangle whales, turtles and fish and damage coral reefs.

The group is among a handful working to collect plastic trash from the open ocean. It's dangerous, time consuming and expensive.

To make their fishing expedition easier, the group gave sailors navigating through the Pacific buoyant GPS trackers they attached to the nets that were later collected by volunteers.