World Animal Protection are asking divers to report “ghost” fishing gear.

They say that an estimated 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear is lost or abandoned in our oceans each year, entangling and killing millions of animals including seals, turtles and whales.

Turtle trapped in ghost fishing gear
Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) tangled in an abandoned fishing net

When divers see or remove any ghost gear, they can upload their sighting which will then appear on a map. This will enable the animal welfare charity to identify which are the most common types of ghost gear and from where they come. The information will be used to as evidence to convince governments and industry to create safer, cleaner oceans for animals.

Identifying ghost gear hotspots lets volunteers take urgent action wherever sea animals are most at risk. The data will also help demonstrate the most important causes of ghost gear so steps can be taken to reduce its use.

Further Reading
World Animal Protection (formally known as WSPA).

Photo credits: Martin Stelfox (CC BY-SA 4.0); Doug Helton


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