“Ghost” fishing gear is having a profound marine impact, says new report

The World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA) has published a report which studies the profound impact that “ghost fishing gear”  is having on marine animals.  The report, titled Ghosts beneath the waves states:

As fishing intensifies, more fishing gear is being lost or abandoned and this is contributing to our ocean’s plastic problem. It’s harming sea animals, marine ecosystems and global fish stocks.

Producers and distributors of seafood have a huge role to play in tackling the problem of ‘ghost gear’, the term given to lost and abandoned fishing equipment.

We believe that our oceans and the life within them should be protected. And seafood companies can be part of the solution.

Some companies are already acting to help marine animals. And it’s working. Now we want others to act too.

The ghost gear problem is getting worse. As a result, marine animals are suffering. When animals like whales and seals get entangled or swallow pieces of plastic from ghost gear, it can lead to malnutrition, mutilation and cause a slow and painful death.

Our Ghosts beneath the waves report found that 80% of the largest seafood companies do not yet have an effective way of dealing with abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear.

Only three seafood companies, Young’s, Tri Marine and Thai Union, have established policies or are part of projects to tackle ghost gear.

Sign our petition and ask Supermarkets in the UK to ensure that their suppliers, including these seafood companies, take action on deadly plastic fishing gear.

Ghost gear is harming marine animals across the globe and turning our oceans into death traps. Our report 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
• 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
That’s why we’re asking you to get supermarkets to put pressure on their suppliers, and take action on ocean plastic ghost gear.


Source: World Society for Protection of Animals, see www.worldanimalprotection.org.uk/campaigns/animals-wild/sea-change/ghosts-beneath-waves

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