Sea Change campaign: tackling ghost fishing gear

Our Sea Change campaign reduces the huge suffering caused by 'ghost gear' — abandoned fishing gear that turns oceans into death traps for sea animals.

The ghost 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.

By bringing together governments, businesses and fishing organizations, we can protect sea life and move towards a future free from the ghost gear threat.

Our work

At World Animal Protection, we’re working in three ways to protect animals from being trapped in ghost gear. We:

  • Bring together partners to stop gear being abandoned
  • Support new ways to remove ghost gear from the seas
  • Help to replicate successful local sea animal rescue efforts on a global scale.


Global Ghost Gear Initiative

The Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) 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 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.

With your support this year, we were able to remove over a tonne of netting from the ocean, freeing entangled and trapped animals. Watch the video. 


Old ghost gear finds new use

It’s hard to think about the thousands of animals - whales, dolphins, turtles and birds - that get caught and die in lost and discarded fishing gear, or ghost gear, every year. That’s one of the reasons that Joel Baziuk, Operations Supervisor at Steveston Harbour Authority in British Columbia, began the net recycling program with partners Aquafil and Interface Inc. to turn old nets into carpet tiles and other products. Learn more about Joel's net recycling program.

Our report

Tell the world:



1. Visit and play on your computer or your mobile phone
2. Click/tap to swim up & release to swim down to avoid getting caught in ghost gear
3. Sign-up at the end of the game to learn more about Sea Change work happening locally and share the game with your family and friends to help build the movement