Nestlé, the world’s biggest food company, and Tesco, the UK’s biggest supermarket chain, have joined the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) to help address the more than 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear ending up in oceans each year.
Founded in 2015, GGGI is a global alliance of non-governmental organisations and companies which are dedicated to tackling the problem of ghost fishing gear at a global scale. Ghost gear refers to abandoned, lost and discarded plastic fishing nets, lines and traps.
Alongside today’s announcement, the initiative has revealed a raft of commitments to protect marine animals from ghost gear.
It is pledging to double the financial commitment from its members to $2 million in 2019 to ensure the effective scaling of projects aimed at addressing and preventing the problem of ghost gear, especially in developing countries.
The organisation will also support 30 projects addressing lost fishing nets in 15 countries by 2025.
Ingrid Giskes, global head of sea change at World Animal Protection, said: “Ghost gear is recognised as a key issue that we need to tackle if we want to ensure sustainable fish stock levels and clean and thriving oceans.
“I am delighted that large corporate partners and governments alike are committing resources to ensure that we can use our collective impact to make a real dent in the targets for the Sustainable Development Goals.
“The commitments announced today will help ensure that we will achieve a net reduction of the amount of ghost gear in our oceans – by preventing more from entering and removing what is already there.”
GGGI said that “an estimated 5% to 30%” of the decline in some fish stocks can be attributed to ghost gear.
The organisation now has 91 member organisations globally, including Lidl, which joined the alliance in September, and other UK food retailers Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Marks and Spencer, and Waitrose. GGGI said that food retailers play an important role in the alliance, as they can ensure their seafood supply chains comply with best practices to prevent ghost gear being left in oceans.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020