The global ghost gear crisis
Ghost gear (aka 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 (UNEP), a staggering 640,000 tons of ghost gear is left in our oceans each year – more than one ton every minute!
Ghost gear is harming marine animals and contributing to our ocean’s plastic problem. In our report 'Ghosts beneath the waves' we found that:
- since 2012, the number of species affected by marine debris has increased by over 23%
- more than half of the ocean’s macroplastics measured by weight is fishing related (view infographic)
- ghost gear contributes to an estimated 5 to 30% decline in some fish stock levels
- as many as 92% of encounters between marine animals and debris, including ghost gear, involves plastic debris
- almost half of all threatened species are impacted by ghost gear
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.