Ghost gear refers to abandoned, lost, or intentionally discarded fishing nets and other fishing equipment that ultimately drifts out to sea. Predominantly made of plastic, these materials are a major contributor to marine plastic pollution. Known as the "phantoms" of fishing gear due to their long-term entrapment of marine life and severe impacts on ecosystems, ghost gear causes widespread economic losses, including the death of marine life, destruction of ecosystems, depletion of fishing resources, and damage to the tourism industry.
In response to this issue, the international community is advancing efforts to prevent, retrieve, and recycle ghost gear. Initiatives like the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) and the FAO's Voluntary Guidelines for the Marking of Fishing Gear have been established, with cooperation from governments, NGOs, and fishing industry stakeholders, to develop and implement strategies to prevent gear from spilling into the oceans. However, a fundamental solution requires a multifaceted approach and long-term commitment, including improvements in gear design, education, and regulation.
Our Marugame Uchiwa RIFINE series are crafted from recycled used fishing nets.