Sea Change: our fight against Ghost Gear
Lost or discarded plastic fishing nets, ropes and lines - also known as ‘ghost gear’, kills and injures more than 100,000 whales, dolphins, seals and turtles each year.
Through our Sea Change campaign, we have helped save thousands of marine animals from these floating death-traps.
Humpback Whale Breaching
Loggerhead Turtle Trapped
Ghost Gear Clean Up
The problem with Ghost Gear
A staggering 640,000 tonnes of ghost gear is left in our oceans each year – more than one tonne every minute!
Ghost gear is made from plastic and can take up to 600 years to break down.
Ghost gear is by far the deadliest form of marine debris, because it is designed to catch marine life.
The Sea Change Campaign
World Animal Protection launched the Sea Change campaign in June 2014, to protect marine animals from tragic suffering and death by ghost fishing gear. World Animal Protection achieves this by tackling ghost fishing gear through the 4 Rs, namely by:
- Reducing the volume of fishing gear entering the oceans.
- Recycling ghost fishing gear in innovative ways, and creating sustainable business models.
- Removing ghost fishing gear.
- Rescuing animals — providing training and support, and enabling rescuers to free marine animals entangled in ghost fishing gear.
Global Ghost Gear Initiative
In 2015, World Animal Protection established the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), a cross-sectoral alliance committed to driving solutions to ghost gear. 85,000 of you signed our petition and together we persuaded Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Lidl and Tesco to join the fight against ghost gear by joining the GGGI.
The GGGI now has over 100 participants from the seafood industry and private sector, governments, including the United Kingdom, and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) committed to ocean conservation.
Saving Shetland's sealife...with your help!
The Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary is the only facility in Shetland that rescues and rehabilitates marine life from the devastating injuries caused by ghost gear. Your amazing support is helping build their desperately-needed new seal unit. You can see the latest footage from the remote sanctuary here.