Film Made with Fishermen Wins Highly Commended at the Global Sustainability Film Awards

28 November 2017

A film we made with fishermen and campaignfilm to highlight the impact of lost and abandoned fishing equipment (ghost gear) has won Highly Commended in the Reshaping the Economy category at the Global Sustainability Film Awards 2017.

The story is told from the fishermen’s personal perspective and shows how they are voluntarily adapting their practices to reduce the impact of fishing on the marine environment.

Our film, 'Ghost gear', has won Highly Commended at the Global Sustainability Film Awards 2017

Chiara Vitali our Campaigns Manager said, “We're delighted that the film has been recognised as it shows the great work that is already being done by fishermen in the UK. Fishers want to keep their grounds sustainable and this film delivers best practice ideas to inspire others in a credible way.”

Andrew Davies, campaignfilm said, "It’s great to tell the stories of the folk who are actually making the change happen, people leading by example, it’s where the real emotionally true stories can be found.”

Sue Burton, who led the Pembrokeshire Sustainable Shellfish Initiative which conducted the gear trials said, “We found some great workable solutions that are now set to become commonplace in the industry.  We also showed that fisheries and marine conservation can coexist.” 

Ghost gear is a major issue for both fishermen and sea life, with an estimated 640,000 tonnes of derelict fishing gear entering the oceans every year. Equipment is expensive to replace, while ghost gear depletes fish stocks and can continue to catch, injure and kill marine animals for hundreds of years.

Christina Dixon, World Animal Protection; Andrew Davies, campaignfilm; and Chiara Vitali, World Animal Protection with the trophy

The film is designed to engage those who care about the damage lost fishing pots are causing to the environment, sea life and livelihoods. Examples to reduce impact shown in the film include installing escape hatches on pots to enable small animals to escape and attaching quick-degrading clasps on pots so that they open if lost.

Best practice ideas in the film such as the escape hatch are the result of a cross Atlantic knowledge share with fisherman in the USA who are also seeking to protect their environment. This project has also been shared globally with the fishing industry via the Global Ghost Gear Initiative.

Fisherman installing an escape hatch in a pot to enable the release of young fish

We have created a dedicated web hub for all local fishing communities to reduce the impact of ghost fishing gear and provide educational materials to raise awareness of preventative measures and best practice. All the materials can be found at the Sea Solutions hub here.

We are also calling on supermarkets to play a role in fighting ghost gear by demanding their fish suppliers change the way they operate. Please help us persuade supermarkets to take action now by clicking here to sign our petition

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