July update: Protecting sea animals


July was a busy month for our Sea Change campaign with our campaigners visiting three events to help protect marine animals from being caught in Ghost Gear - deadly lost fishing lines and nets.

Ingrid Giskes, our global head of sea change, speaking at the UN event. Credit: World Animal Protection

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) endorses our call to protect marine animals from ghost gear

At the recent Committee of Fisheries meeting in Rome, we enjoyed an historic campaign win. UN member states supported our call for fishing gear to be tagged, to help authorities trace abandoned nets to their owners and tackle illegal discarding at sea.

This is as an essential first step in the global fight against ghost gear and will help prevent it being abandoned in our oceans, where it maims and kills of hundreds of thousands of dolphins, whales and turtles every year. Support was also given for a global strategy to reduce the threat of ghost gear.

Beach clean launches £20,000 partnership

Volunteers with bags of rubbish at Tregantle, Cornwall. Credit Line: World Animal Protection / Tony Carney

You persuaded supermarkets such as Morrisons to act on Ghost Gear to protect marine life. Now their charity, the Morrisons Foundation, has given £20,000 to our partners, Fathoms Free, to clear plastic Ghost Gear from the sea and beaches in Cornwall and Devon.

Removing Ghost Gear will help reduce the maiming and killing of seals and other marine animals who regularly get entangled and suffer a slow and painful death. The money will also fund a new recycling network to prevent Ghost Gear being left in the sea.

Ghost Gear highlighted to HRH The Duke of Cornwall at Ocean Plastic Solutions Day

HRH The Duke of Cornwall meets with CEO of SAS Hugo Tagholm. Image: Ian Lean

In July, we were honoured to be invited along to the Ocean Plastic Solutions Day in Cornwall, which included high profile guests such as the HRH The Duke of Cornwall.

At the event we shared the success of the trailblazing Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), a group we established in 2015 to tackle the problem of lost fishing equipment worldwide. The initiative brings together seafood companies, food retailers, marine conservationists and governments to fight the scourge of deadly lost and abandoned plastic fishing gear.

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