Facts About Ghost Nets

Article extracted from Asian Diver Issue 02/2020 (155)

A November 2019 report by environmental group Greenpeace concluded that lost and abandoned fishing gear makes up the majority of macroplastic (in excess of 20 centimetres) in the oceans. “Ghost gear” is a particularly deadly form of plastic pollution that is trapping, entangling, smothering and killing marine animals across Asia.

  • Ghost nets are responsible for trapping and killing millions of marine animals including sharks, rays, bony fish, turtles, dolphins, whales, crustaceans, and birds every year.

  • Fishing nets are discarded, abandoned, or lost at sea. Some nets drift out to open water and begin fishing.

  • 6.4 million tonnes of marine debris is added to the world’s oceans every year, of which around 10 percent is lost of abandoned fishing gear.

  • 1% of fishing gear is lost per vessel every year.

  • 92.8 fishes are caught per hundred square metres of ghost nets.

  • It is estimated that there is 4.4 kilometres of ghost nets per square kilometre of fishing grounds.

  • 0.5% to 30% of landed catch species are wiped out by ghost fishing.

Has this topic piqued your interest?

Tune into our LIVE! Panel Discussion on the Spotlight on Ghost Nets on 20 May 2020 at the following times:

Singapore – 8PM / Sydney – 10PM / New York – 8AM / London – 1PM / Paris – 2PM / Tokyo – 9PM / Mumbai – 5.30PM / Sao Paolo – 9AM

This panel features:

Elsie Gabriel (#India)
Mentor – Climate Reality Project, Founder of Young Environmentalists Programme

Meet climate change advocate and environmentalist Elsie Gabriel, trained by former Vice President of USA Al Gore, certified by Harvard University and global diver having researched in Galapagos Islands, Grand Cayman, Australia, Malapascua Philippines, Cozumel Mexico, Bahama’s and many other Asian oceans. As the founder of the Young Environmentalists Programme, she promotes bans on plastics and pollution in lakes and oceans. Award-winning activist, Elsie Gabriel will host and moderate the panel discussions on Plastic Ocean pollution. She says, ”Our beaches are not only polluted with plastic bags, but plastics have invaded our seas, our food, and even the salt in my hair is in the shape of tiny plastic bits when we dive, surf or swim. The sand I walk on is mixed with an indescribable mix of sharp pieces, strings, wedges, and particles of plastic that are impossible to pick, gather, or clean. The real danger lies ahead in the plastic that we cannot see with our naked eyes in the ocean! Come join me at the ADEX India convergence to find out how you can join forces to fight climate change and ocean pollution. We want you to be the Young Environmentalists “Agent Of Change”.

Anuar Abdullah (#Malaysia)
ADEX Ambassador of Coral Reef, Founder of Ocean Quest Global

Founder of Ocean Quest Global and ADEX Coral Reef Ambassador since 2013. Creator of the Sea Shepherd Dive-Coral Propagation Program. Manages Coral Rehabilitation Projects in the South East Asia region.

Gary Stokes (#UK)
Founder of OceansAsia

Born in the UK, raised in the Mediterranean but currently based in Hong Kong. Gary is best known for his work exposing the shark fin industry over the past 12 years. His images and videos have appeared on tabloids and news networks as well as in several movies. He is known for his no compromise, no BS approach to conservation issues. Until recently Gary headed up Sea Shepherd in Asia, however, at the start of 2019, he established OceansAsia, a new not-for-profit based in Asia for Asia to directly investigate and address local ocean conservation issues in the region.

Harry Chan (#HongKong)
Ghost Net Hunter

At 66 years old, many people wouldn’t blame Harry Chan aka Diver and Ghost Net Hunter, for taking a more sedate approach to life. But Harry is a man on a mission. Around twice a month, he dons his wetsuit and dives to the bottom of the seabed in search of ghost nets, which are deadly to marine life and dangerous for swimmers.

Hidy Yu (#HongKong)
ADEX Ambassador Marine Conservation

Hidy started her modeling career when she was just 18, quickly moving on to acting where she starred in eight films. Diving for 13 years, she became a qualified Dive Instructor Trainer by the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), thereafter being named the NAUI Worldwide Ambassador. At the same time, she is a qualified SSI Dive Instructor. Finding her passion for the ocean, she became the 2011 Miss Scuba International Ambassador.

Jonah Skoles (#India)
Eternal Divers, Technical Dive Instructor, Freediving Instructor and Equipment Technician Trainer

Jonah Skoles thirst for learning has never ended. He grew up in Auroville in the South of India. As a Technical Dive Instructor, Freediving Instructor and Equipment Technician Trainer, he has been able to share his passion for the sea with divers of all ages from kids to experienced tec divers. Being one of the pioneers of technical diving and sidemount training in India he has been part of the exploration of the deeper coast of South India that Sidemount has permitted. He has now branched out to take the best parts of all he has learnt and coalesced them into his own diving and research center in Auroville, South India.

Don’t miss out on this exciting discussion – See you there!