GGGI Video Shortlisted at Sustainability Film Awards

GGGI video on ghost gear and how fishers are helping to fight the problem in the UK has been shortlisted at the Sustainability Film Awards.

This video emphasizes the role that fishers have to play in helping to solve the problem of ghost gear while protecting their stocks and their local environment. The video focuses on the lobster fishery in the UK and how local fishers are voluntarily implementing new innovations such as cotton rot cords which will biodegrade to release animals caught in traps that get lost due to poor weather, snapped ropes or other circumstances. The video also mentions tagging gear so that any gear that gets lost and is subsequently found by divers can be returned to its owner, so this is another economic incentive for fishers to get involved in projects like these.

Simon Thomas, one of the fishermen in the film, said, “If the pots do get lost, these adaptions will limit the amount of sea life being stuck inside, preventing the pots actively ghost fishing. If the pot is lost then the hatch will open and anything stuck inside can find its way out. I feel all fishermen have a responsibility to look after the stocks as there has to be something left for tomorrow.” 

Christina Dixon from World Animal Protection, who produced the video, had this to say:

“Most fishermen do not want to lose their fishing gear and they know their livelihood depends on protecting their fishing ground for the future. We worked with the fishing community to produce this film and educational materials to inspire others to adopt simple techniques and best practices that can make a real difference for the environment and the bottom line. I hope that from watching this people can get a real sense of the how these communities feel about their precious coastline and their desire to protect it."

Best practice ideas in the film such as the escape hatch are the result of a cross Atlantic knowledge share with fisherman in the USA who are also seeking to protect their environment. This project was a collaboration between World Animal Protection UK and the Pembrokeshire Sustainable Shellfish Initiative.

We hope that this film will inspire other fishers to take up the cause and join the Global Ghost Gear Initiative. Only by working with fishers directly can we have the largest possible impact to fulfill the GGGI's main goals:

  • To improve the health of marine ecosystems

  • To protect marine animals from harm

  • To safeguard human health and livelihoods

World Animal Protection has created a dedicated web hub for all local fishing communities to reduce the impact of ghost fishing gear and provide educational materials to raise awareness of preventative measures and best practice. All the materials can be found at the Sea Solutions hub.