Ghost Gear Report - 36

© Ashley Morgan/ WWF

Generally fishers don't want to lose their fishing gear. It is their means of livelihood and sustenance and can represent a considerable financial investment. Nevertheless, fishing gear can be abandoned,
lost, or discarded in even the best managed fishery.
Gear is abandoned when the fisher cannot retrieve it. This happens when gear is snagged on reefs,
rocks or other obstructions. Sometimes fishing gear conflicts cause snagging, e.g. when a trawl is towed
across a gillnet or snags the line of a crab pot, which is then lost because it cannot be recovered without
its guiding surface line. Gillnets can also be snagged and dragged by non-fishing vessels and sport boats,
which can lead to displacement of gillnet sections impeding recovery by the fisher. Snagging fishing gear is
identified as a major cause of loss in many coastal fisheries98,99,100,101.
Gear is considered lost if a fisher cannot locate it or has lost operational control over it. This
can happen when marker buoys become detached, or tides or wave action or snagging carry fishing gear
away from its deployment location102,103. Interactions with active fishing gear or other vessels also cause
considerable gear loss in static gear fisheries, such as lobster or crab trap and gillnet fisheries104,105,106. Other
causes of loss identified by Brown et al. (2005)107 for European fisheries included long soak times, fishing
in deep habitats, and deploying more gear than can be hauled in regularly. Fishers in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands noted animal interactions, such as sharks destroying nets, as a leading cause of gear loss108 .
Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing also contributes considerable amounts of ghost
gear, as illegal fishers abandon or discard fishing gear to conceal their activities. In 2017, GGGI, World
Animal Protection and WWF-Mexico collaborated on a project that removed 5,200m2 of abandoned and
lost illegally set gillnets from vaquita habitat in the Gulf of California. The project illustrated the nexus
between IUU and ghost gear. Other studies have documented the connection as well, though it is difficult
to quantify109,110.
Sometimes fishing gear is also discarded into the ocean deliberately111,112. This behaviour can
be motivated by lack of adequate onshore disposal facilities, high disposal costs, or lack of storage space
onboard. It can also result from ignorance of the harm caused by ghost gear and a habitual sense that the
sea is endless.

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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
Ghost Gear Report - 59
Ghost Gear Report - 60
Ghost Gear Report - 61
Ghost Gear Report - 62
Ghost Gear Report - 63
Ghost Gear Report - 64
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