The global ghost gear crisis
‘Ghost gear’ – lost, abandoned or discarded fishing equipment - is one of the biggest threats to marine animals in our oceans. According to the United Nations Environment Program, a staggering 640,000 tons of ghost gear is left in our oceans each year – more than one ton every minute!
Ghost gear traps, injures, mutilates and kills more than 136,000 seals, sea lions and small whales each year.
Through our Sea Change campaign, we’re working to save one million animals from the threat of ghost gear by 2018.
By bringing together governments, businesses and fishing organizations, we can protect sea life and move towards a future free from the ghost fishing gear threat.
We’re working to protect animals from ghost fishing gear by:
- 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.
The Global Ghost Gear Initiative
Set up by us in 2015, the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) is an alliance of non-government organizations, academics and fishing industry leaders that aims to reduce the amount of ghost gear in the oceans.
Reports and resources
- NEW: Ghosts beneath the waves executive summary
- NEW: Ghosts beneath the waves report
- Fishing's phantom menace executive summary
- Fishing's phantom menace report
- Sea Change infographic
- Causes of ghost gear infographic
- Fishing's plastic problem infographic
- Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing
Learn more about our latest report:
Changing the world, together
Below are some of the latest achievements from our Sea Change campaign.
We’ve successfully lobbied the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to protect marine animals by tagging fishing nets. This significant decision means sea animals will be less likely to be killed or entangled in lost or abandoned fishing gear.
Thai Union, one of the world’s largest seafood companies and tuna producers has joined the Global Ghost Gear Initiative to help protect animals from ghost gear.
The UK government has pledged their support for the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, committing to address the global ghost gear crisis.
Following our presentations at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference, ten governments - the Netherlands, New Zealand, Belgium, Panama, The Dominican Republic, Samoa, Tonga, Sweden, Tuvalu and Palau - have joined the Global Ghost Gear Initiative to make the ocean safer for sea animals
In our report, 'Ghosts beneath the waves' we found that 80% of the largest seafood companies do not yet have an effective way of dealing with ghost gear and that’s why we’re asking them to do more to address this problem.
Add your name to our petition and help us move seafood companies to address ghost gear in their supply chains and do more to protect ocean animals.