Ghost fishing gear is polluting our oceans.
Catching, injuring and killing marine wildlife.
What is Ghost Gear?
We hear the term "ghost gear" a lot when it comes to marine debris, and it refers to any fishing gear, nets, lines or pots that have either been lost or abandoned at sea. This fishing gear can be abandoned for a number of reasons, including severe weather conditions, intentionally discarding them, getting stuck or caught between rocks and even conflicting with other gear.
The most common types of ghost fishing gear include gillnets, longlines, trawls and crab pots. This gear can come from large scale industrial fishing, recreational fishing or small scale fishing fleets. As the fishing equipment needs to be durable and strong it is typically made from plastic, this means that it can remain in the oceans for years catching and killing marine life almost indefinitely, if it is not removed. Gillnets have been found to entangle marine wildlife 20 years after it was abandoned.
Of all of the plastic marine pollution it is estimated that 10% of it is ghost gear. That equates to 640,000 tonnes of abandoned fishing gear in the ocean. This ghost gear kills more than 650,000 marine animals and injures hundreds of thousands more.
Want to see more done about the ghost gear problem?
A petition has been set up by Seung Hyeok Lee to the United Nations demanding that they take action to save the marine ecosystem from the dangerous impact of ghost gear.
"There is a need to call greater action against the harmful effects of ghost gears. Such as agreements in limiting industrial fishing or overfishing activities."
We need to create a good incentive to encourage fishermen to report any lost or abandoned fishing gear and also to collect them if they come across any lost/ abandoned nets or lines.
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