Ghost fishing gear...
Cornwall Seal Group (CSG) are working with World Animal Protection (WAP) to monitor and collect data about ghost fishing gear.... CSG are acting as a contact point for the collection of lost fishing gear data in Cornwall as part of WAP’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative, an extension of WAP’s Sea Change campaign, which highlights the scary volume of netting that is floating in our oceans worldwide - a staggering 640,000 tonnes (the equivalent of 90,000 double decker buses). The Global Ghost Gear Initiative aims to develop a better understanding of just how much there is and thus how bad the problem is - leading to the possibility of solutions that benefit both wildlife and the seafood industry. Via the WAP website you can access loads more information and even sign up to receive news about the campaign via email.
For those wanting more information about how they might be able to help locally collecting data, please contact Sue at CSG via: email@example.com and for all things seal, don’t forget to visit the Cornwall Seal Group website.
But as a quick guide; please take a photo and record both date and location and email it all to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For practical reasons the advice is that only items that are looped or over fist size should be recorded.
The data that is being collected by CSG, other experts, organisations and individuals is extremely valuable to help a global campaign change things for a better future.
The data was collected, and collated, discussed and turned into two reports, one by The Conrwall Seal Group and the other by WAP. Please do read both if you have the time, as they are equally valuable - see below for links.
In brief, the survey ran between for the year between November 2014 and October 2015, with volunteers logging any and all found ghost gear washed up on beaches - mainly in Cornwall. In addition, 26 boat based survey transects were completed and repeated following the same 115km stretch of north Cornwall coast. Approx 51 tonnes of ghost gear was photographed and logged during the survey, and although theywere not required to do so, volunteers removed 14 tonnes of ghost gear as they conducted the survey.
Cornwall Seal Group Reasearch Trust volunteers are currently taking a break from data collection, so please do not send any findings or photos for the time being..... but watch this space, cause if they begin again, this page will let you know!