A film we made in collaboration with World Animal Protection with fishermen to highlight the impact of ghost gear has won Highly Commended in the Reshaping the Economy category at the 2017 Global Sustainability Film Awards!
The story is told from the fishermen's personal perspective and shows how they are voluntarily adapting their practices to reduce the impact of ghost fishing on the marine environment.
Chiara Vitali, Campaigns Manager for World Animal Protection, said: "We're delighted that the film has been recognised, as it shows the great work that is already being done by fishermen in the UK. Fishers want to keep their grounds sustainable and this film delivers best practice ideas to inspire others in a credible way."
Christina Dixon, Campaign Manager for World Animal Protection – Sea Change, who helped make the film, said: "I loved making this film with fishermen in Wales for our Sea Change campaign. We tried to create something by fishermen for fishermen rather than a traditional campaign film just highlighting the problem. We've since seen this shared around the world via the Global Ghost Gear Initiative and it's been inspiring to see fishermen sharing their experience on ways to limit the harmful impacts of ghost gear on the marine environment in a positive way."
Ghost gear is a major issue for both fishermen and sea life, with an estimated 640,000 tonnes of derelict fishing gear entering the oceans every year. Equipment is expensive to replace, while ghost gear depletes fish stocks and can continue to catch, injure and kill marine animals for hundreds of years.
The film is designed to engage those who care about the damage lost fishing pots are causing to the environment, sea life and livelihoods. Examples to reduce impact shown in the film include installing escape hatches on pots to enable small animals to escape and attaching quick-degrading clasps on pots so that they open if lost, thus minizing their ghost fishing potential.
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.
Well done to Christina Dixon, Campaign Manager, Sarah Dickinson, former UK Communications Manager, and Andrew Davies, film director, who were involved in this project.