06 Nov 2014
It’s estimated that 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear are lost or abandoned in the oceans each year Photo: NOAA
The charity World Animal Protection has launched a new global initiative to tackle lost and abandoned fishing gear in the oceans, which it says will save the lives of millions of marine animals and create safer, cleaner seas.
Its Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) will bring together
governments, UN agencies, scientists and the general public committed to sharing
sustainable solutions to help tackle the problem.
World Animal Protection said that an estimated 640,000
tonnes of fishing gear are lost or abandoned in the oceans each year. For every
125 tonnes of fish caught, it’s estimated that about a tonne of this “ghost”
gear is left behind.
Claire Bass, head of wildlife campaigns, World Animal
Protection, said: “Ghost fishing gear is killing more marine animals and
devastating marine habitats. It already costs governments and marine industries
millions and without action will only get worse. This global problem needs
coordinated global action from industry, governments and civil society.”
Ghost gear entangles and kills hundreds of species including
seals, turtles and whales and because it’s mostly made of plastic it can take
hundreds of years to decay.
The first meeting of the GGGI will take place in Ljubljana,
Slovenia from 13 to 14 November 2014. It will aim to agree priorities for
collaborative action. It is being supported and endorsed by UNEP and the
Aquafil Group, a global synthetic manufacturer and co-founder of the Healthy
Images for this article – click to enlarge
Image copyright © Mercator Media 2014, or image used with permission of the copyright holder.