The Ghost Gear Fishing Phenomenon

Published by MM Editor on Wednesday, 8th November 2017 - 5:18PM


Imagine a loose fishing net that gets stuck at the depths of the ocean, catching fish and their predators repeatedly with no one to reap the benefits. This is the kind of vicious cycle Ghost Fishing Foundation works fervently to prevent.

"Ghost fishing" is what we call abandoned fishing gear that becomes caught at the bottom of the sea, trapping many species of ocean life. Caught fish are left to die and their scavengers ultimately meet the same demise. With fish stock depleting rapidly on it's own, this produces a sizable concern for the marine industry.

Any net, line or trap left unattended is capable of ghost fishing. This lost fishing gear is one of the ocean's deadliest problems and largest killers of marine life. Hundreds of kilometers of line get lost each year and stick around for decades to come.

The Ghost Fishing Foundation was born from a group of divers who found the severity of the phenomenon alarming. The group first took notice of the issue when diving in the deep sea wreckage of the Dutch North Sea. Few years later after running into the same problem repeatedly, The Ghost Fishing Foundation was created. The group works with divers all over the world to retrieve fishing gear lost at sea, documenting their work via visual media in hopes of spreading awareness. 

The Ghost Fishing Foundation works in partnership with Healthy Seas Initiative, World Animal Protection and Greenpeace as part of Global Ghost Gear Initiative. GGGI strives to promote the health of marine ecosystems, the wellbeing of marine animals and safeguard human health. After being in launched in 2015, GGGI is the first committee dedicated to combatting ghost gear on a global level. It's participants include the fishing industry, the private sector, academia, the government as well as non-governmental organizations.

For more information check out Blueplanet.

Pictures courtesy of Ghost Fishing online.

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