PADI to help protect thousands of marine animals by combatting ‘ghost gear’

27 September 2017

By joining the Global Ghost Gear Initiative that we founded in 2015, the association will encourage millions of scuba divers to help reduce lost and abandoned fishing gear. Ghost gear entangles and kills hundreds of thousands of animals each year

We’re pleased to announce that the world’s largest recreational diver training organisation, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), has joined the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI).

We launched the GGGI in 2015. It’s the first global alliance working to solve the problem of lost and abandoned fishing gear, a type of marine debris known as ‘ghost gear’.

Together with our GGGI partners, we reduce, remove, and recycle ghost gear, and help rescue animals entangled in it.

Saving lives together

Now PADI’s joined the GGGI, PADI divers will be empowered to look for and report harmful ghost gear. Once it’s been spotted, it can be removed from the ocean, to avoid whales, seals, turtles and birds, and more suffering injuries and dying by becoming trapped in it.

Together, we’ll equip PADI divers with the knowledge and techniques to identify and report ghost gear. And with proper training, they can safely remove ghost gear from waters, creating a global movement of millions of underwater eyes on the lookout for these death traps.

This will complement the efforts of PADI’s long-standing conservation partner, Project AWARE®, which actively works as a GGGI member to build evidence through programs like Dive Against Debris®.

Animals are in dire need

More than 640,000 tons of fishing equipment is left in the world’s oceans each year. Reports show that this debris affects more than 800 species of marine life. Many nets lost in global waters are enormous – often far bigger than football fields – trapping and killing marine life under the surface. Mostly made of plastic, ghost gear is also highly durable and can stay in the oceans for up to 600 years.

"We are happy to team up with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative," says Drew Richardson, PADI Worldwide president and CEO.

"PADI is committed to protecting the ocean, planet and, with our unique underwater vantage, the dive community can play a significant role in locating marine debris. Along with Project AWARE, we look forward to working with the GGGI to empower and mobilise PADI divers to join the fight against ghost gear."

A Hawaiian monk seal entangled in marine debris

With nearly one million certifications issued each year, PADI is committed to building a robust force of ocean ambassadors to protect marine life.

"We are proud to welcome PADI, with its millions of underwater eyes around the world looking out for ghost gear, as a pivotal new member for the GGGI," said Ingrid Giskes, the head of our Sea Change campaign, and a GGGI steering group member.

"Ghost gear is a true global problem that knows no borders, and PADI will surely play a crucial role in helping us to locate and remove ghost gear, which causes such immense suffering for marine animals."

Learn more about ghost gear and the Global Ghost Gear Initiative.

"We look forward to working with the GGGI to empower and mobilise PADI divers to join the fight against ghost gear." - Drew Richardson, PADI Worldwide president and CEO

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