Sea Change: tackling ghost fishing gear

The Problem

  • 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.

The Solution

  • So, through our Sea Change campaign, we’re aiming to save one million animals by 2018.
  • To protect marine life we’ve founded the Global Ghost Gear Initiative - a multi-stakeholder alliance to drive economically viable and sustainable solutions to the problem of ghost fishing gear.
  • And we’re providing assistance and training to rescue teams around the world to save entangled marine animals around the world.

What we’re doing

To protect marine animals like turtles, whales and dolphins we’re working to:

  • Bring together partners to stop gear being abandoned
  • Support new ways to remove ghost gear from the seas
  • Help to replicate successful local sea animal rescue efforts on a global scale.

Report ghost gear

Have you seen lost or abandoned fishing gear?

We're working 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 can protect sea life and move towards a future free from the ghost fishing gear threat.

Find out more about the work we're doing to protect sea life. 

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.