Ghost Fishing Gear

The session began this afternoon with introductory remarks from the Deputy Permanent Representative of Sweden, Ambassador Per Thoresson, and H.E Ambassador Mahe Uli’ Uli Sandhurst Tupouniu, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Tonga, both highlighting the necessity to protect global marine resources for sustainable development and finding  the role of governments to achieve SDG 14.

Ambassador Per Thoresson, welcomed the panelist, and the new Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden  as the keynote speaker.

Sweden’s Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin in her presentation addressed the problem of lost fishing gear in Sweden and in the Baltic sea, highlighting that lost fishing gear is a major pollutant in oceans (microplastics) affecting marine life and reduces fish stock. Less fish means fishermen will spend more time fishing and some will fish illegally. She also said that Sweden is leading several initiatives to address lost fishing gear in the Baltic Sea and introducing drifting nets to decrease the flow of plastic waste into the sea.  The Deputy Prime Minister reiterated that multi-stakeholder platforms are very necessary to push this agenda to significantly reduce marine debris as offered by SDG 14. She concluded by saying that if we all assume shared responsibilities and work together, it will be possible to solve the problems worldwide.

Elizabeth Hogan of the World Animal Protection introduced a project that she works on called Sea-change. She said that approximately 640000 tons of fishing gear has been abandoned in the oceans, and they persist in marine environments for over 600 years. She also reiterated that it is important to get the lost fishing gear out of the oceans to protect marine species and reduce wildlife entanglement which is causing a decline in marine biodiversity. She talked about the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), which provides a cross-sectoral multi-stakeholder framework committed to driving solutions to the problem of lost and abandoned fishing gear worldwide.

Meeting: Special event on “Implementing the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 2030 Agenda: The Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) – Protecting oceans and marine animals”

Date/Time/Location: Wednesday, 08 June 2016, 1:15pm – 2:45pm / Conference Room 6

Speakers: Ambassador Mahe Uli’ Uli Sandhurst Tupouniu, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Tonga to the United Nations, Ambassador Per Thoresson, Deputy Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations, Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, Sweden (Keynote address), Elizabeth Hogan, World Animal Protection Sea Change Campaign Manager (Briefing on ghost gear initiative progress and call for support), Respondents: Permanent Mission of Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Palau, the Kingdom of Thailand and Vanuatu

Written By: Fred Talah, WIT Representative

Summary By: Modou Cham, WIT, Administrator

Conservation and management tools, including area-based management and environmental impact assessments

Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues  relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine  biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction

Workshop 2 entitled “Conservation and management tools, including area-based management and environmental impact assessments”

Panel 1: Key ecosystem functions and processes in areas beyond national jurisdiction

Panel 2: Impacts and challenges to marine biodiversity beyond areas of national


By Wayne Dean Doyle (05-06-2013)

Dr. G Soto, a marine Biologist opens the floor and speaks gives various examples in relation to the deep sea, reproduction, habitat and the current Eco system in general.

The deep sea, despite its ecological limit-ability continues to provide an income for many regions. The current trend of oil and gas drilling deep in the ocean bed is having an effect on these organisms and dramatically changing the reproductive traditions of various species, the omission of carbon dioxide from CO2 capture and storage is also damaging these habitats.

Waste absorption and detoxification when not carried out safely and adequately can cause havoc and is, as we speak. Planet regulating Ecosystem Functions should be paying a greater role. The United States questions the validity of the statements made by Dr. Soto in relation to dumping within the deep sea given the (International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea (HNS), London, 1996

Edwin Nikilitschek Chile opens the second conference going in depth about common features of the deep sea fisheries, a quick decline in yields, high concentrations, and large initial captures. Below 500 m – slow growth, low fecundity, delayed maturity and low productivity. Degradation due to bottom trawling on biogenic habitats (corals and sponges) Ghost fishing continues to be a serious threat. There is a serious lack of very basic information such as, how many areas in the high seas are being depleted by humans?  What are the species and which are the most important and in need of protection in the future. Management and conservation strategies, learn from experience (CCMLR), successes and failures implementing the ecosystem and precautionary approaches

Professor Callum Roberts of the United Kingdom                                        

  • Human impacts on fisheries
  • Three way squeeze on fishing warming, acidification and over fishing.
  • The sea is heating up and as a result, nutrients sink to the bottom and dead bodies and faeces float to the top. As a result fewer results will be mixed and rise back to the top or mid section of the ocean.
  • Ocean acidification is becoming alarmingly high, 150 percent increase by 2100.
  • A new deal for the oceans, a vigour-enhancing, stress busting package.
  • More marine reserves, less fishing, using less destructive gear, but more catch, a moratorium on all high seas until fishing until we improve management institutions, an outright ban on fishing deeper than a half a mile down.

Jihyun Lee, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity also contributes to the presentation with very in-depth and statistic based material.