4th GGGI Annual Meeting - Bangkok

GGGI 4th Annual Meeting

NOVOTEL Bangkok Sukhumvit 20, Bangkok, Thailand – September 13th – 14th

The 4th Global Ghost Gear Initiative Annual Meeting starts tomorrow! The agenda promises to be a great one, highlighting the huge accomplishments of the GGGI Working Groups since the previous meeting in Miami in 2016, showcasing the amazing work that GGGI members have been doing around the world, and creating the next set of work plans for the coming year.

The Working Group sessions consist of brainstorming and building a plan for the coming year, developing organically as a part of the greater discussion. This is really where the bulk of the work gets done, and it’s always extremely interesting to see what the groups come up with! Some examples of things that came up from these discussions last year (and will be presented upon at the AGM) include:

  • creation of a ghost gear data portal into which information can be fed from multiple sources to build evidence and collect data about lost fishing gear;
  • creation of a ghost gear reporting app for iOS and Android phones so scientists and public alike can feed into the data portal above in a controlled way with uniform metrics;
  • creation of a Best Practice Framework for the Management of Fishing Gear (BPF) which has been developed with all aspects of the fishing supply chain, has had consultation from over 50 industry stakeholders, and is being finalized as we speak to be used in numerous different ways;
  • implementation of 7 new solutions projects around the world started this year, with several others in development.

Some other highlights from 2016 include a hugely successful side event at the SeaWeb Seafood Sustainability Summit in Seattle, a hugely popular appearance at the Circular Ocean Innovation Conference in Reykjavik, and 11 governments signing statements of support for the GGGI as a result of an extremely well received plenary session presentation on the GGGI given by World Animal Protection’s Global Head of Sea Change, Ingrid Giskes.

We’ll also have short presentations from several GGGI members including Pelagic Data Systems, Emerald Sea Protection Society, Claire Potter Design, Fathoms Free, NOAA, Olive Ridley Project, and Project AWARE. In addition, we will have two special guest speakers:

  • Ben Kneppers, Co-Founder of Bureo – Bureo success story, implementing a sustainable, circular economic model to the problem of ghost gear and focusing on the social enterprise aspect of their business model.
  • Vesa Tschernij, Project Manager & Fisheries Engineer for Municipality of Shimrishamn – MARELITT Baltic overview and model for the sustainable removal of marine litter in the form of derelict fishing gear in the Baltic Sea.

The bright future of the GGGI will be discussed by the GGGI Steering Group, who will present a business plan for the collective moving forward that aims to maximize the impact of the organization and further leverage the expertise and knowledge of its membership.

With so many success stories to build on from 2017, 2018 promises to be the biggest year for the GGGI yet. Stay tuned for more about how the GGGI aims to tackle the global problem of ghost gear following the Annual Meeting!

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