Global Ghost Gear Initiative launched

Expert participants representing the private sector, fishing industry, scientific community, civil society, and both national and international institutions from around the globe met in London on September 10-11, 2015, to mark the launch of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) during its second annual meeting.

After almost a year-long consultation period and planning, the meeting’s objectives were successfully met and broad agreement reached on the GGGI’s participation system and priorities for Working Groups. A dedicated Steering Group was also elected, welcoming representatives from NOAA’s Marine Debris Program(US), GhostNets AustraliaGhost Fishing (The Netherlands), Young’s Seafood (UK) and World Animal Protection.

Hosted by GGGI founding participant World Animal Protection, the meeting brought together over 75 existing, new and future participants of the GGGI. World Animal Protection’s Chief Executive Officer, Mike Baker, said:

Ghost gear is injuring and killing hundreds of species each and every year. The expertise and influence the GGGI has is a step towards guaranteeing the safety of our oceans, marine animals, human health and livelihoods.

Petri Suuronen, Fishery Industry Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nation’s Fishing and Operations Service, said:

This global problem requires a global solution and FAO supports the GGGI’s mission and collaborative approach to ensure safer, cleaner oceans. We encourage the active participation of the fishing industry in this initiative.

Mike Mitchell, CSR and Technical Director at Young’s Seafood Limited, added:

As a leading processor of responsibly sourced fish we are delighted to be involved in this ground-breaking initiative, seeking to tackle one of the great unresolved issues in seafood sustainability, on a global scale. We’re pleased to be taking a hands-on role in this, drawing on the expertise of our Marine Biologist, as part of our Fish for Life programme on responsible sourcing.

Annie Jarrett, CEO of Northern Prawn Fishery Industry Pty Ltd, was also in attendance:

We are proud to be the first fishery in Australia to sign up to the Global Ghost Gear Initiative. Under our MOU, our fishers will be actively involved in monitoring, reporting and removing ghost gear that washes to northern Australian waters from fisheries in South East Asia. Our partnership with GGGI is a great example of how the fishing industry can be part of the solution to the global ghost gear problem.

The GGGI Secretariat would like to thank all who attended the meeting in London, everyone who contributed to the development of the GGGI over the past year, and to the individuals who will be driving the GGGI forward via the Working Groups and Steering Group.

The GGGI is open to new participants. For more information on participating in the GGGI please click here.