Leading experts commit to solving the problem of ghost fishing gear

20 November 2014

We hosted the first meeting of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, uniting global experts on the problem of lost and abandoned fishing gear

An estimated 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear is lost or abandoned in our oceans each year, entangling and killing animals including seals, turtles and whales.

This month we brought together experts from around the world for the first ever meeting of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI).

The GGGI will work together to achieve safer, cleaner oceans by driving solutions to tackle the problem of abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear across the world.

This first meeting united representatives from businesses, UN agencies, research institutes, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and national governments to agree upon priority actions for addressing this major threat to marine animals.  

The meeting was supported and endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Aquafil Group, a global synthetic fibre manufacturer and co-founder of the Healthy Seas initiative.

Some of the attendees made pledges to:

  • Fund local solution projects
  • Collect and collate data on the spread and impacts of ghost gear globally
  • Share expertise to better understand the causes and impacts of ghost gear

People at the meeting shared inspiring success stories of beach and ocean cleaning initiatives and profitable recycling projects that add value to recovered fishing lines, nets, traps and pots. 

Several seafood companies in Australia have expressed interest and support for the GGGI, as well as a wide range of NGOs and businesses.

The GGGI will be officially launched in early 2015 and is currently welcoming further contributions from fishing associations, NGOs, businesses and other relevant stakeholders.

Learn more about the Global Ghost Gear Initiative or join the conversation on Twitter using the #GhostGear hashtag.

Image: A monk seal at Kona, the Big Island, Hawaii (Rachel Ceretto)

The GGGI will work together to achieve safer, cleaner oceans by driving solutions to tackle the problem of abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear across the world.