‘Ghost Fishing’ is what fishing gear does when it has been lost, dumped or abandoned. Imagine a fishing net that gets snagged on a reef or a wreck and gets detached from the fishing vessel. Nets, long lines, fish traps or any man made contraptions designed to catch fish or marine organisms are considered capable of ghost fishing when unattended, and without anyone profiting from the catches, they are affecting already depleted commercial fish stocks. Caught fish die and in turn attract scavengers which will get caught in that same net, thus creating a vicious circle.
The issue of “ghost fishing” was first brought to the attention of world at the 16th Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries in April 1985. Following debate at COFI, the FAO Secretariat published an in-depth study of the problem.
Lost fishing gear, or so called ‘ghost gear’ are among the greatest killers in our oceans, and not only because of their numbers. Literally hundreds of kilometers of nets and lines get lost every year and due to the nature of the materials used to produce these types of gear, they can and will keep fishing for multiple decades, possibly even for several centuries.
Team Ghost Fishing supports the Healthy Seas initiative
Removal of ghost nets is an important matter, but just as important is the proper disposal of these materials, which is a collection of various raw materials and dirt. We are therefore very pleased with initiatives which combine such processes together in one project.
The main objective of the Healthy Seas initiative remove waste, in particular fishing nets and other marine litter, from the seas for the purpose of recycling these into textile products. To achieve this, divers from Healthy Seas will salvage lost and discarded fishing gear from Dutch North Sea wrecks in the second part of 2013.
Team Ghost Fishing will attend these diving trips and support Healthy Seas in their mission. We are proud to work together in this project, -for the first time in history- lost or discarded fishing gear is taken from the sea and will be reused as raw materials for new products within the same initiative.
For this diving season, six clean up trips are booked and will start at July 27th, you can follow us in this unique mission on our Facebook page and this website. We thank all involved partners for their confidence in our team!
RECYCLING WITH HEALTHY SEAS
Recycling of salvaged fishing gear is part of our global mission. Aquafil, the ECNC Group and Star Sockhave together established the ‘Healthy Seas, a Journey from Waste to Wear’ initiative. This very ambitious initiative is unique because it is closing the loop!
The main objective of the Healthy Seas initiative is to remove waste, in particular fishing nets and other marine litter, from the seas for the purpose of recycling these into textile products. Ghost Fishing delivers their salvaged nets to this initiative and the diving team is continuously participating in their projects.