While Mr Lawton said recent surveys suggested there were fewer ghost nets afloat in remote waters — partly due to awareness-raising campaigns — he said this one could represent the beginning of “marine debris season”.
He said it was also possible that recent cyclonic winds pulled marine debris down into the Gulf of Carpentaria.
“Everything’s getting blown down with monsoonal winds, and once the south-easterly winds kick back in, all that rubbish being pushed down into the gulf will end up pushed up on the East Arnhem coast.
“It’ll definitely be interesting to see how the season goes for the rangers and what we end up picking up off the beaches.”
Based on the net’s handiwork, Mr Lawton said he believed it came from south-east Asia.