The ghost fishing gear crisis

Abandoned, lost and discarded nets, lines and traps are one of the biggest threats to our sea life. A staggering 640,000 tonnes of gear is left in our oceans each year. This gear traps, injures, mutilates and kills hundreds of thousands of whales, seals, turtles and birds annually.

So, through our Sea Change campaign, we’re aiming to save one million animals by 2018.

At least 136,000 seals, sea lions and large whales killed each year
640,000 tonnes of gear per year = 90,000 double decker buses
125 tonnes of fish caught = about 1 tonne of gear discarded

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When you receive our emails, you'll be among the first to hear about how you can take action to help sea life and other animals.

We’re working in three ways to protect animals from ghost fishing gear: 

  • Bringing together partners to stop fishing gear being lost and abandoned
  • Supporting new ways to remove ghost gear from the seas
  • Assisting rescue teams to save entangled marine animals around the world

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

Image: Michael Pitts /

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