Ghost Gear Report - 20

ECONOMIC COSTS OF GHOST GEAR
While some ghost gear captures marine animals indiscriminately, the targeted species is often the
biggest victim of ghost fishing, as the gear continues to capture that species as designed72. A variety of
studies have attempted to value the loss of harvestable species to ghost fishing and the benefits to fisheries
of effective management of lost fishing gear:

● Antonelis et al. (2011)73 estimated 178,874 harvestable crabs valued at US$ 744,296
were lost to ghost fishing of lost crab traps in one season in the Puget Sound
representing approximately 4.5% of the harvest.
● Scheld et al. (2016)74 documented a blue crab harvest increase of 13,504 tonnes
valued at US$ 21.3 million after removing 34,408 derelict crab traps over six years.

The economic harm caused to fishers also includes the loss of the gear itself. In one crab
fishery in British Columbia, annual replacement of lost gear costs the fishery over US$ 490,00075.
But fisheries are not the only industry to suffer economic harm from ghost gear. Ghost gear also poses
navigation hazards, threatening the safety of mariners76,77 . Lost crab pots and lines are a recurring problem
for Washington State ferries, sometimes causing extensive damage and causing ferry cancellations78.
Economic activities like tourism can also be affected since visitors may perceive a decline in the natural
beauty of an area if marine debris is present79.

TYPES OF FISHING GEAR
While the loss of fishing gear occurs in all fisheries, regardless of whether they are artisanal or industrial,
some fishing gears are more damaging than others. For example, even though trawl nets are not considered
to have a high risk of ghost fishing, turtles along the shores of Australia's Gulf of Carpentaria have been
entangled and killed in lost nets80. Even recreational angling lines can create hazards when lost in large
quantities, at public fishing piers for example81.
Previous research by GGGI has ranked ghost gear impacts with the scoring of each fishing gear based on its
risk of loss and on the likelihood of harmful impacts when lost82. This provides a useful global perspective
on the highest risk fishing gear. Gillnets, pots and traps, and FADs were ranked as the top three most
harmful fishing gear. Refer to figure 1 to see a gear risk assessment.

© Shutterstock/ Adnan Buyuk/ WWF

20



Ghost Gear Report

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Ghost Gear Report

Contents
Ghost Gear Report - 1
Ghost Gear Report - 2
Ghost Gear Report - Contents
Ghost Gear Report - 4
Ghost Gear Report - 5
Ghost Gear Report - 6
Ghost Gear Report - 7
Ghost Gear Report - 8
Ghost Gear Report - 9
Ghost Gear Report - 10
Ghost Gear Report - 11
Ghost Gear Report - 12
Ghost Gear Report - 13
Ghost Gear Report - 14
Ghost Gear Report - 15
Ghost Gear Report - 16
Ghost Gear Report - 17
Ghost Gear Report - 18
Ghost Gear Report - 19
Ghost Gear Report - 20
Ghost Gear Report - 21
Ghost Gear Report - 22
Ghost Gear Report - 23
Ghost Gear Report - 24
Ghost Gear Report - 25
Ghost Gear Report - 26
Ghost Gear Report - 27
Ghost Gear Report - 28
Ghost Gear Report - 29
Ghost Gear Report - 30
Ghost Gear Report - 31
Ghost Gear Report - 32
Ghost Gear Report - 33
Ghost Gear Report - 34
Ghost Gear Report - 35
Ghost Gear Report - 36
Ghost Gear Report - 37
Ghost Gear Report - 38
Ghost Gear Report - 39
Ghost Gear Report - 40
Ghost Gear Report - 41
Ghost Gear Report - 42
Ghost Gear Report - 43
Ghost Gear Report - 44
Ghost Gear Report - 45
Ghost Gear Report - 46
Ghost Gear Report - 47
Ghost Gear Report - 48
Ghost Gear Report - 49
Ghost Gear Report - 50
Ghost Gear Report - 51
Ghost Gear Report - 52
Ghost Gear Report - 53
Ghost Gear Report - 54
Ghost Gear Report - 55
Ghost Gear Report - 56
Ghost Gear Report - 57
Ghost Gear Report - 58
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Ghost Gear Report - 60
Ghost Gear Report - 61
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Ghost Gear Report - 63
Ghost Gear Report - 64
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