Solutions for abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear
Fishing gear can be lost or dumped at sea, adding to the growing amount of plastic litter at sea and on beaches. Two new studies from the global GloLitter Partnerships project, which aims to reduce marine plastic litter at sea, address this phenomenon.
The reports describe case studies that may offer a way forward to tackle abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear, also known as ALDFG or ghost gear.
ALDFG is the most harmful form of marine plastic litter to marine animals and habitats: it can impede safe navigation, damage beaches and reefs, and cause economic losses to fishing and other dependent industries. of the sea around the world.
The study Lost Fishing Gear Reporting and Retrieval: Recommendations for Developing Effective Programs outlines fisher-directed lost fishing gear reporting and retrieval systems. It identifies the critical elements of successful programs and recommends next steps for countries to develop such programs as well.
The report provides seven case studies of effective angler-led reporting and recovery programs from around the world. Puget Sound’s Report, Response, and Recovery Program involves rapid response to mandatory reports of lost fishing nets. The Norwegian Fisheries Directorate ALDFG Reporting and Retrieval is run by the Fisheries Authority, which charters a fishing vessel for several weeks to retrieve ALDFG in areas where fishermen have reported losses. The Fishing for Litter and Mediterranean Cleanup programs involve fishermen collecting and bringing to port marine litter and ALDFG they have encountered while actively fishing. The Fishing Net Gains Africa project involves fishers in the collection and deposit of end-of-life and ALD nets at Fishing-HubNets: here the nets are processed for disposal or recycling into marketable items by women in the community. The Washington Coast Crab Tag and Area A Crab Association programs both hire crab fishers to retrieve lost crab pots.
The Legal Aspects of Abandoned, Lost or Otherwise Discarded Fishing Gear (ALDFG) report examines legal responses to ALDFG in the context of marine fishing. It discusses the nature of ALDFG and some of the reasons why fishing gear is abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded, and examines the international community’s response to the problem. One of the main conclusions is that ALDFG is both a fishing problem, a maritime transport problem (concerning pollution from ships) and an environmental problem. Unsurprisingly, this translates into the involvement of several UN entities in the search for solutions: the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the General Council of the United Nations. General Assembly (UNGA).
The study describes the basic legal and institutional arrangements in four jurisdictions studied that have adopted legal measures to address ALDFG: Australia, the European Union and its member states, Norway and the United States of America. America. These case studies reveal a tripartite responsibility shared between fisheries, shipping and environment agencies. The cross-sectoral nature of ALDFG suggests the need for a collaborative and coordinated approach.
The two recently published reports were developed as part of the GloLitter Partnerships (GLP), a project funded by the Norwegian government and managed by the IMO and FAO aimed at reducing marine litter. The global project helps developing countries, including Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), identify opportunities for preventing and reducing marine litter.
Legal aspects of abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG)
Reporting and Retrieving Lost Fishing Gear: Recommendations for Developing Effective Programs