Wednesday July 12, 2023

Science Daily

Ghost fishing is a term that describes what happens when abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) continues to catch and kill fish and other marine animals. It is a significant source of plastic waste (the European Commission 2018 estimated that as much as 27 per cent of marine litter in EU sea basins is caused by ALDFG) and can cause a variety of environmental problems as it remains relatively unchanged for a long time, perhaps for hundreds of years.

There is also an economic aspect to ALDFG, with previous studies showing that marine litter could result in cost impact of up to £30,000 per year for a single vessel (Hall 2000) and that 86 per cent of fishermen reported reduced catches due to marine litter (Mouat et all 2010).

The development of biodegradable fishing gear (BFG) with a reduced lifespan could help both address the fishing industry’s contribution to marine litter and reduce the impacts of marine litter on the fishing industry.

However, researchers from the University of Portsmouth found that the economic cost of decreased catches from fishermen using BFG compared to current fishing equipment, is not sufficient to offset the cost of ghost fishing prevented by BFG.

Read more >

Link copied successfully