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.


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

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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