Tackling ghost fishing gear
We dive into the numbers behind the ghost fishing gear crisis and the 640,000 tonnes of abandoned and discarded nets, lines and traps that pose a threat to sea life.
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. That 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.
Ghost fishing gear: our work
We’re working in three ways to protect animals from ghost fishing gear by
- Bringing together partners to stop gear from being abandoned
- Supporting new ways to remove ghost gear from the seas
- Helping to replicate successful local sea animal rescue efforts on a global scale
Global Ghost Gear Initiative
The Global Ghost Gear Initiative is a big part of our Sea Change campaign.
By collaborating with a range of partners, we’re working to understand just how bad the problem of ghost fishing gear is – and to respond with solutions that work for animals and people. The seafood industry spends millions each year untangling nets from propellers, for example, so we’re developing solutions that protect animals and benefit businesses too.
Ghost fishing gear: in numbers
- At least 136,000 seals, sea lions and large whales killed each year
- Around 640,000 tonnes of gear discarded annually = 90,000 double decker buses
- 125 tonnes of fish caught = about 1 tonne of gear discarded