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Abandoned, lost and discarded gillnets and trammel nets: methods to estimate ghost fishing mortality, and the status of regional monitoring and management












FAO. 2016. Abandoned, lost and discarded gillnets and trammel nets: methods to estimate ghost fishing mortality, and the status of regional monitoring and management, by Eric Gilman, Francis Chopin, Petri Suuronen and Blaise Kuemlangan. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 600. Rome. Italy.


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    Report of 2019 FAO Regional workshops on best practices to prevent and reduce abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear in collaboration with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative
    Port Vila, Vanuatu, 27–30 May 2019. Bali, Indonesia, 8–11 June 2019. Dakar, Senegal, 14–17 October 2019. Panama City, Panama, 18–23 November 2019
    2020
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    FAO in collaboration with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), convened a series of regional workshops on Best Practices to Prevent and Reduce Abandoned, Lost and Otherwise Discarded Fishing Gear (ALDFG) between May and November 2019. The workshops which involved Government representatives, Regional Bodies, relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, the fishing industry and other regional stakeholders covered the Southwest Pacific, Southeast Asia, West Africa, and South America and the Caribbean regions. Workshop participants reviewed existing measures for addressing fishing-related marine debris in particular ALDFG, considered best available information that supports further development of best practices for the management of fishing gear, discussed provisions required within international instruments and identify region-specific challenges, opportunities and priority needs. The main objective was to increase understanding and awareness of the Voluntary Guidelines for the Marking of Fishing Gear (VGMFG) and relevant best practice as outlined in the GGGI’s Best Practice Framework for the Management of Fishing Gear (BPF). The main output of the workshops were a set of recommendations to inform next steps to be taken towards the development of national action plans or strategies to align, as appropriate, policies, legislation, systems and operations to the provisions of the VGMFG and the BPF, which will support the implementation of regional action plans to address marine litter from sea-based activities, especially ALDFG.
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    Legal aspects of abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear 2022
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    The growing quantity of plastic waste in the marine environment including abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) is a global problem. A particular feature of ALDFG is the potential of some gears to carry on fishing for many months or even years. The study examines legal responses to ALDFG in the context of marine fisheries. After discussing the nature of the problem of ALDFG and some of the reasons why fishing gear is abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded, the study examines the response of the international community to ALDFG. A key finding is that ALDFG is at the same time, a fishing issue, a navigation problem (of vessel source pollution) and an environmental problem with the resulting involvement of FAO, IMO and UNEP as well as the UN General Assembly. After examining potential legal approaches to the problem, the study then describes the basic legal and institutional arrangements in four case study jurisdictions that have adopted legal measures to address ALDFG, namely Australia, the European Union and its Member States, Norway and the USA finding once again the tripartite responsibility of fisheries, navigation and environment ministries/agencies. The inter-sectoral nature of ALDFG suggests the need for a collaborative and coordinated approach. While not all of the case study jurisdictions make use of all ten of the individual legal measures identified, the case studies also clearly show that ALDFG is a problem that is susceptible to a legal response at the national or regional level including through the use of extended producer responsibility schemes, various reporting requirements and gear standards. Legal tools to address the problem of ALDFG clearly exist. The extent to which some, or all, of them are necessary or appropriate in a given context at national, regional or global level is not ultimately a legal question but a political one.
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    Reporting and retrieval of lost fishing gear: recommendations for developing effective programmes 2022
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    Abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded fishing gear, alternately known as ALDFG or ghost gear is the most harmful form of marine plastic litter for marine animals and habitats. It also can impede safe navigation, mars beaches and reefs, and causes economic losses to fisheries and other marine-dependent industries across the globe. While current estimates of the amount of ALDFG in the ocean are not available, a growing body of evidence has documented high rates of ALDFG in fisheries around the world, with coincident costs to fisheries, harm to the environment, and safety risks. Because most fishing gear has significant plastic components, the negative impacts from ALDFG also include less direct but longer term impacts associated with other plastic pollution and microplastics including negative effects on biota, water quality and even human health. Advancing solutions to ALDFG on a global scale has gained momentum with the efforts of the FAO, the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), and the IMO through their multilateral fora (COFI, UNEA and MEPC); the publication and endorsement of the Voluntary Guidelines for the Marking of Fishing Gear (VGMFG); the IMO action plan to address marine plastic litter from ships; the creation of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI); and the establishment of the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Pollution (GESAMP) Working Group 43. These efforts reflect the growing understanding that ALDFG is a considerable and damaging source of MPL in the ocean. With the publication of the VGMFG and the Best Practice Framework (BPF) for the management of fishing gear, there are now references for how to prevent loss of fishing gear and prevent harm from ALDFG. Focusing on two key recommendations of the VGMFG and the BPF, this report describes systems for fisher-led reporting and retrieval of lost fishing gear, identifies critical elements of successful programs, and recommends next steps for countries to develop successful programs.

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