Untangled: The plastics treaty’s critical role in tackling fishing gear

‘Ghost gear’ is fishing gear which has been abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded at sea and is widely regarded as one of the most harmful forms of plastic marine debris.

Abandoned, lost and otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) is an ever-growing problem, impacting marine resources, wildlife and habitats. When fishing gear is lost, it continues to catch both target and non-target species – also known as ‘ghost-fishing’ – entangling and killing threatened and protected marine animals and commercially important fish species. Lost gear also damages coral reefs and the seabed, while surface ALDFG presents a significant safety hazard for shipping and maritime activities, such as propeller entanglement.