Ghost Gear

Did you know that most of the ocean’s plastic pollution comes from abandoned fishing gear? Called Ghost Gear, fishing gear left behind by fishermen hurts marine life and ocean ecosystems.

Ghost Gear | Maine Island Kayak Co
Image from https://maineislandkayak.com/ghost-gear/

In fact, according to the Guardian, 640,000 tons of Ghost Gear are discarded into the ocean each year, which is the equivalent of 55,000 double-decker buses stacked together.

St Maarten Double Decker Bus Sightseeing Tour with Orient Bay 2021
Image of double-decker bus from https://www.viator.com/tours/St-Maarten/St-Maarten-Double-Decker-Bus-Tour/d728-11451P1

Fishing gear can be abandoned for many reasons. According to the Ghost Gear Initiative, these reasons include “severe weather, snags beneath the surface, conflict with other gear, interaction with other vessels and, rarely, intentional discard when no other options are available.” In other words, storms, gear getting caught on things in the water, getting tangled with other fishing gear, and getting caught when boats get close to each other, and people choosing to leave the gear in the ocean create Ghost Gear.

Green Plastics' Give Ghost Gear New Life
Image from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ariellasimke/2019/12/22/green-plastics-give-ghost-gear-new-life/?sh=149e94f44ece

While it might not seem like a big deal to abandon fishing gear, 70% of large plastics floating in the ocean are made up of Ghost Gear. This floating gear can cause animals like sea turtles can get caught in nets.

Progress to tackle fishing 'ghost gear' missing best-practice leadership,  report claims
Image from https://www.edie.net/news/5/Progress-made-on-fishing–ghost-gear–but-more-work-required/

Because of this, it’s important to make sure we use legal fishing measures and properly dispose of fishing nets. That way, we can minimize the impact of Ghost Gear on our oceans.

So remember: don’t leave your gear unattended, because it will come back to haunt you (ghost pun intended)!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: