Plastics are ubiquitous in wild-capture fisheries and aquaculture, polluting land and sea, causing navigational hazards, blighting the coastal landscape and impacting communities and tourism when it washes ashore while often continuing to entangle and kill marine species as well as contaminating seafood for human consumption.
‘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.
A global treaty (i.e. convention) on plastics will require financial resources to achieve its objectives, and many models exist in other multilateral environmental agreements from which lessons can be taken.
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.