‘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.
Since records began in the late 1980s, over a quarter of a billion tonnes of plastic waste has been traded globally.
Virgin plastic production and consumption have reached unsustainable levels. Overproduction has meant inexpensive virgin plastic is used freely and inefficiently, with unfavourable economics for most recycling, leading to a stark discrepancy between how much plastic is produced and how much is recycled.
Abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) – also known as ‘ghost gear’ – is a major contributor to marine plastic pollution.
The main component of sea-based sources of marine plastic pollution is abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear, also referred to as ghost gear. Fishing gear accounts for approximately 10 per cent of global marine plastic pollution though in some regions it is closer to half the overall mass in our oceans and seas.