Finalist, Seafood Champion Awards Vision Category
For every 125 tons of fish caught, about a ton of ghost gear is left behind, continuing to fish—and threatening both economic and food security for years to come.
Ghost fishing gear causes large-scale damage to marine ecosystems through habitat disturbance and the effects of ghost fishing. It causes direct harm to the welfare and conservation of marine animals via entanglement and/or ingestion. Some types of gear continue to catch fish and other animals more than eight years after being lost or abandoned.
Ghost gear also acts as a source of and vehicle for persistent toxic chemical pollution in the ocean.
The Global Ghost Gear Initiative is the first effort to tackle this problem on a global scale, working in partnership with stakeholders from fishers to the United Nations.
In addition to building a global picture of the problem by collecting and analyzing data on gear types, hotspot areas and environmental impact, the Global Ghost Gear Initiative is developing best practices for gear management at all stages of its life cycle and catalyzing solutions to reduce and remove ghost gear. Launched in 2015, its international, cross-sector membership comes from the fishing industry, private sector, academia and governments.