- Associated Press - Thursday, August 13, 2015

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) - The Northwest Straits Foundation has reached a milestone in its efforts to remove lost fishing nets from Puget Sound.

The Skagit Valley Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1MmddvC ) that the foundation reported this week that it has retrieved 5,667 nets.

About 260 species of marine animals were found in the nets, including 65 mammals, 1,092 birds and 5,659 fish. Many died while trapped in the nets, including porpoises, seals, otters, diving birds, sharks, salmon, crab and octopuses.

Foundation director Joan Drinkwin says between the time the program was launched in 2002 and the work was completed June 30, net removal restored 812 acres of marine habitat.

The organization is working with the fishing industry to prevent nets from becoming derelict. The organization also hopes to eventually recover lost fishing gear from deeper water.

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Information from: Skagit Valley Herald, http://www.skagitvalleyherald.com

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