Six creative ways to tackle ghost gear

Sea Change: tackling ghost fishing gear

Read our "Ghost beneath the waves" report

We believe that our oceans and the life within them should be protected

What is "ghost" gear and why is it a threat?

It is abandoned fishing gear that turns oceans into death traps for sea animals.

As fishing intensifies, more fishing gear is lost or abandoned, and this is contributing to our ocean’s plastic problem. It's harming sea animals and precious marine ecosystems.

  • Abandoned, lost and discarded nets, lines and traps known as ‘ghost gear’ are one of the biggest threats to our sea life.
  • A staggering 640,000 tonnes of gear is left in our oceans each year - trapping, injuring, mutilating and killing hundreds of thousands of whales, seals, turtles and birds annually.
  • The growing volume of ghost gear and lack of a global solution also puts a strain on the livelihoods of coastal communities and productivity of the fishing industry.
Sea change infographic

A staggering 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear is lost or discarded in our oceans per year = 90,000 double decker buses. As a result at least 136,000 seals, sea lions and large whales killed each year.

Ghost fishing gear: our work

We worked to reduce the huge suffering caused by ‘ghost gear’ – lost and abandoned fishing gear that turns oceans into death traps for sea animals. 

By bringing together governments, businesses and fishing organisations, we protected sea life and moved towards a future free from the ghost fishing gear threat.

As part of our Sea Change campaign, we worked in three ways to protect animals from ghost fishing gear. We: 

  • Brought together partners to stop gear being abandoned
  • Supported new ways to remove ghost gear from the seas
  • Helped to replicate successful local sea animal rescue efforts on a global scale
Ghost gear beach clean - World Animal Protection - Animals in the wild
Seal tangled in ghost gear - World Animal Protection - Animals in the wild

Report Ghost Gear

Report Ghost Gear

Have you seen lost or abandoned fishing gear? The GGGI's Ghost Gear Reporter app is live on the Google Play and Apple App stores worldwide! Search for "Ghost Gear Reporter" and download the app for free today.

Previous campaigns

Learn about some of the achievements we've made for animals in disasters, wildlife, community animals, and farm animals.

Make a monthly gift

Regular gifts are the most impactful way to achieve long-term, lasting change for the lives of animals everywhere, forever.

Support us

Your support is key to bringing an end to animal suffering across the world.

Wild dolphins in Algoa Bay, South Africa

Keep up to date

Join thousands of animal lovers fighting to protect wildlife and give farmed animals good lives. Sign up now to receive emails with all the ways you can help.

Sign up