Influencing a Sea Change

Influencing change in government and industry policy is just as important as cleaning up the rubbish.

GhostNets Australia has been involved in many workshops, conferences and meetings to help provide good information that informs good decision making. The first of these was in 2004 when the newly formed alliance held a pivotal role in shaping the “Threat Abatement Plan for Injury and Fatality to Veterbrate Marine Life caused by Ingestion of, or Entaglement in, Harmful Marine Debris” under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. This important document was finally endorsed by the Australian Minister for Environment, Hon Peter Garrett in 2009.

Explore the thumbnails below to learn more about how we are influencing change.

Yirralka Laynhapuy rangers extracting nets from the mangroves. Photo by Jane Dermer.

The Global Ghost Gear Initiative

The Global Ghost Gear Initiative is about worldwide collaboration and worldwide action

Please visit the Global Ghost Gear Initiative homepage to find out more – World animal Protection has made a short film which outlines the GGGI premise and showcases a handful of the excellent ghost gear reduction and removal projects being implemented, at the local level, globally. This film showcases the fantastic work of GhostNets Australia! We’re excited at the great potential for change that we can make, together, and hope that you’ll feel inspired too. If you register your interest WAP will be in touch with more details soon.

To find a lasting solution to this problem, GNA has joined the Global Ghost Gear Initiative. This is an alliance of governments, industry, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, with a shared commitment to tackle the problem of ghost fishing gear.

Members will decide its exact design, but its functional elements will likely include:

  • An online data hub – to record and analyse ghost gear volumes, geography and trends in order to more accurately describe and quantify the problem. Data could be used to underpin and direct urgent mitigation responses in identified ‘hotspots’, and allow monitoring of solution project impacts against baselines.
  • A virtual communication platform – to facilitate sharing of intelligence and challenges and to showcase existing effective solutions in policy and practice. The platform would represent and empower a global virtual community of people and organisations committed to tackling ghost fishing gear. It would act as a global repository of information to inspire and enable the growth of solutions.
  • Steering group – to oversee development, evaluate progress and agree priorities for future action. The initiative could benefit from biennial meetings to evaluate progress towards shared goals, and to agree recommended priorities for future action by partners. By uniting global efforts to tackle ghost fishing gear, and underlining our shared responsibility to redouble these efforts, we will ensure that ghost gear does not pose an ever-growing threat to our oceans or the animals that live in them.
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