The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation recently announced that it will be joining Ocean Conservancy’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative, the world’s only alliance solely dedicated to solving the problem of abandoned fishing gear, also known as “ghost gear.”
“It is a pleasure to welcome the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation as a partner in the fight to eliminate ghost gear, the most harmful form of marine debris,” said Ingrid Giskes, Director of the GGGI at Ocean Conservancy. “With Spain joining the GGGI in April this year, we look forward to working together and expanding our work in the Mediterranean region.”
Gear loss occurs wherever fishing takes place and can be extremely lethal to sea life: up to a 30% decline in certain fish stocks can be attributed to ghost gear. It’s also one of the biggest contributors to ocean plastic pollution, making up 46-70% of all floating macroplastics by weight. In the western Mediterranean, ghost gear accounts for 77% of the total number of marine debris items.
“Protecting marine ecosystems and fighting plastic pollution is a major concern for the Foundation, not only in the Mediterranean Basin but also at a global scale. Tackling the issue of ghost gear, which is jeopardizing marine life and the health of our ocean, requires collaborative work if we want to drive effective change. Joining forces with Ocean Conservancy in the framework of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative is a step further in our mission to raise awareness of the problems the Mediterranean Sea is facing and accelerate the development of scalable solutions for the future of the ocean,” said Olivier Wenden, Vice President and CEO of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
Founded in 2015, the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) brings together more than 130 stakeholder groups, including 20 national governments, to tackle ghost gear at a global scale. In 2017, the GGGI developed the Best Practice Framework for the Management of Fishing Gear, which has been adopted by a range of seafood companies and fisheries to make meaningful change by removing ghost gear in places like the Gulf of Maine, Panama City, and Vanuatu.