GGGI's collaboration with FAO’s Expert Consultation on the Marking of Fishing Gear

Jakarta, Indonesia, 1-3 February 2017.

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the GGGI, including participants - CSIRONatural Resource Consultants and Ghost Nets Australia  and World Animal Protection took part in a workshop in Jakarta, along with the FAO and Indonesian partners, to develop a solution project in Indonesia.

During the 2016 FAO’s Expert Consultation on the Marking of Fishing Gear it was agreed that adequately and systematically marked fishing gears, in conjunction with other fisheries management measures, can facilitate reducing:

  1. the abandonment and discarding of fishing gears in the aquatic environment;

  2. the unintended catch of endangered, threatened and protected species of fish and other animals;

  3. the level of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing;

  4. dangers to navigation and accidents at sea associated with unattended fishing gear, as well as abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gears (ALDFG);

  5. the accumulation of ALDFG in the aquatic environment;

  6. damage to vulnerable and sensitive aquatic habitats; and

  7. economic losses to fishermen resulting from ghost fishing and degradation of fishing grounds.

From this, and during the Thirty-second Session of Committee on Fisheries (COFI) in July 2016, the Committee supported further development of the Guidelines for the marking of fishing gear and also encouraged the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to conduct pilot projects to avoid ghost fishing by retrieving ALDFG and gear marking, particularly in developing countries.

The FAO and the GGGI worked together to build on this mandate by supporting a pilot project in Indonesia which will test the application of different methods of gear marking in conjunction with fisheries management measures to reduce the prevalence of ALDFG and potentially IUU in the region.

This work is starting in the summer of 2017 with full results published in the Autumn.