Members of the public are becoming more aware of 'Ghost gear' or ALDFG (abandoned, lost, or discarded fishing gear) and wondering how to report it.
The solution is straightforward, if you have the relevant knowledge at your fingertips. Just contact one of the many NGOs around the world, such as 'Ghost Diving', who work to combat this problem internationally, and let them know the details of the ghost gear that needs to be recovered.
Ghost fishing gear is everywhere, but so are we! Pascal van Erp, founder Ghost Diving
UK Ghost Gear Coalition
This process is now easier in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, because the UK Ghost Gear Coalition has just been launched.
Four marine conservation groups - Fathoms Free, Ghost Diving UK, NARC (Neptune’s Army of Rubbish Cleaners) and Sea Shepherd Ghostnet Campaign - have come together, and combined their expert divers and extensive resources, in order to carry out ghost gear cleanup projects in a more effective manner. This will immediately reduce response times to reported sightings of ghost gear, whilst widening geographical reach and improving efficiency.
"From today, when a member of the public reports ghost gear sightings on the platform of one coalition member, the data will become immediately available to all members of the UK Ghost Gear Coalition (UKGCC). This will ensure the quickest and most efficient response, because we'll minimise travel times by using the closest resources available." stated Tony Land, Sea Shepherd UK (Ghostnet Co-ordinator)
UKGGC will be the common voice for #NetRescue and #GhostGear in the United Kingdom
"We are fully aware that retrieving ghost gear is logistically demanding. By utilising the coalition divers who are most closely located to the reported sighting, we will be able to meet these demands in the best possible way. Our response times will be dramatically reduced, along with our carbon footprint. UKGGC members will also use this coalition as a mechanism to share and use experiences from other member teams, in a programme of continuous development."
We have been advised that the coalition intends to build awareness of marine pollution and the ghost fishing phenomenon by participating in school programmes and public events.
The UKGGC has also indicated that it is open to working with other organisations dedicated to removing ghost gear from the sea before it harms marine life or reaches UK shores. In the event that organisations wish to join and work with the coalition, please contact them.