Seal with fishing gear

Sea Change: tackling ghost fishing gear

Our Sea Change campaign reduced the huge suffering caused by ‘ghost gear’ – abandoned fishing gear that turns oceans into death traps for sea animals.
Image credit: John Moncrieff

The ghost fishing gear crisis

Abandoned, lost and discarded nets, lines and traps are one of the biggest threats to our sea life.

A staggering 640,000 tonnes of gear is left in our oceans each year. That gear traps, injures, mutilates and kills hundreds of thousands of whales, seals, turtles and birds annually. 

By bringing together governments, businesses and fishing organisations, we protected sea life and move towards a future free from the ghost fishing gear threat.

Sea turtles in a ghost net from Olive Ridley Project

Image credit: Oliver Ridley Project

Ghost fishing gear: our work

As part of our Sea Change campaign, we worked in three ways to protect animals from ghost fishing gear. We: 

  • Brought together partners to stop gear being abandoned
  • Supported new ways to remove ghost gear from the seas
  • Helped to replicate successful local sea animal rescue efforts on a global scale
Ghost gear beach clean - World Animal Protection - Animals in the wild

What we do

Working around the world to end the needless suffering of animals by inspiring people to change animals’ lives for the better.

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Wild dolphins in New Zealand

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