Global Ghost Gear Initiative GGGI - Annual General Meeting 2018 - Bali
In September, TIC was proud to become a member of the Global Ghost Gear Iniative (GGGI), a cross stakeholder alliance of fishing industry, private sector, corporates, NGOs, academia and governments focused on solving the problem of lost and abandoned fishing gear worldwide.
Tanya attended the 5th Annual General Meeting (AGM), in Bali, Indonesia to get to know the members working to clean up the ocean and to talk all things ghost gear!
Launched in September 2015 by world animal protection, the GGGI is the world’s largest alliance dedicated to tackling the problem of ghost fishing gear on a global scale. It is platform uniting the global community to improve the health and productivity of marine ecosystems, to protect marine animals, and to safeguard human health and livelihoods.
the most deadly form of marine debris
a ghost net entangling coral on pulau tengah
The meeting included projects and stakeholders from all over the world from fisheries, to governments, engineers, designers and non-profits. All coming together with a common goal - the prevention of ghost gear and it’s impacts on the environment. GGGI projects presented their work in 2018 which included everything from wildife rehabilitation with the Olive Ridley Project to dive gear made from recycled nets and ropes with Fourth Element and nets recycled into useful household items with Claire Potter Design. We were especially happy to meet Thanda from the Myanmar Ocean Project, a neighbouring non-profit with similar issues and projects to ours, working to remove ghost nets which are suffocating reefs in Southeast Asia.
As part of the event, Tanya sat on a discussion panel focussed on “Ghost Gear in the Developing World” alongside Claire (Olive Ridley Project), Thanda (Myanmar Ocean Project) and Emmanuel (SOFER Initiative). We discussed the challenges faced in remote locations on finding local solutions for the disposal of ghost gear once it has been collected. In many cases, recycling options simply to not exist regionally and projects like ours have no other choice but to send our nets and ropes to landfill once they have been removed from the environment. Other challenges faced also included efforts to engage with fishermen when the loss of fishing gear coincides with illegal activties such as poaching or fishing in no-take areas. The panel concluded that increased education and awareness on the topic, combined with greater legislation and support from local goverment authorities are key in addressing these issues in the future.
Overall, the meeting was a great success and it was inspiring to see so many people in one room who are as obsessed with ghost gear as we are! We’ll be taking part in the Solutions Working Group and are excited to see what kinds of projects are lined up to deal with the issue over the coming year!