Ghost Gear is Impacting Oceans Worldwide

A Loggerhead turtle trapped in an abandoned drifting net in the Mediterranean.

A little-known issue is impacting oceans worldwide: Ghost Gear.

Ghost gear refers to fishing gear that has been lost or abandoned from fisheries around the world. The United Nations Environment Programme estimates 640,000 tons of fishing gear is lost each year, resulting in the deaths of more than 136,000 seals, sea lions and small whales annually.

The organization says animals get trapped or entangled in the lost gear, which often leads to a slow and painful death. “Once the gear becomes detached…it continues to do what it is made to do which is to fish and as a result of that, it’s incredibly harmful to marine animals,”

World Animal Protection Canada hopes to have all G7 countries sign the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), an alliance dedicated to finding solutions to lost or abandoned fishing gear. Most people are completely unaware of the harm that ghost gear causes.

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© Ben Cousins/CTV