GGGI December Webinar

On Thursday, 14th December, participants of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative gathered online for the last GGGI webinar of the year. 2017 was a huge year for the GGGI, and it was great to see participants from around the globe come together to celebrate our achievements, welcome new members and hear from the Steering Group charting the GGGI’s direction into 2018.

Although scheduled for 60 minutes, it went ran for nearly 90, primarily due to the energy and enthusiasm of the presenters, all of whom are doing amazing work around the world to help solve the problem of lost and abandoned fishing gear.

We had introductions and updates from the Steering Group and Secretariat, followed by lightning talks from new and veteran GGGI members:

  • Kortney Opshaug (Blue Ocean Gear) – developing technology (“smart buoys”) to track lost fishing gear in real time and report its location to fishers and potential animal rescue agencies;

  • Perry Broderick (Ocean Outcomes) – working with fishing industry on Fisheries Improvement Projects and Agricultural Improvement Projects to ensure ocean resources are sustainably harvested;

  • Chris Cook (Axiom Cycling Gear) – raising awareness about ghost gear and promoting their Oceanweave material, sourced from recycled fishing net and used in their top line of cycling bags;

  • Sue Sayer (Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust) – researching and conserving Cornwall’s gray seal population and raising awareness about the dangers of ghost gear and other marine litter.

We then had an update from each of the GGGI’s three working groups - Build Evidence, Define Best Practices and Inform Policy, and Catalyse and Replicate Solutions – about their upcoming work plans for 2018. 2017 was a big year for GGGI, but given the ambitious content of the work plans and the results from last year, 2018 is shaping up to be even bigger!

Kalin Todorov Varbanov from Plastix Global then gave an overview of the Plastix business model and clarified some potential misconceptions about the kinds of materials Plastix can accept for recycling. Kalin also gave an update on the arrival of the first load of end of life nets arriving in Denmark the same day as part of the Alaska Net Recycling GGGI Project.

Finally, Gideon Jones of Emerald Sea Protection Society gave a live demonstration of the nearly complete ghost gear data portal and reporting app, which was very exciting. The data portal and app should be ready by the end of the year or the first week of January at the latest, so we will have much more on this very soon.

The next GGGI webinar will be set for March, 2018, but in the meantime, we would like to wish all of the GGGI participants and supporters a very Happy Holiday Season – we will see you in 2018!