The United Nations will reportedly be taking a new and “historic” stance against fishing nets being dumped into the ocean.
Animal rights group World Animal Protection announced earlier this month that they had “successfully lobbied” the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to require fishing nets to be tagged so that they can be traced back to their owners by law enforcement.
The organization says that this will hopefully help to deter fishing companies from illegally dumping fishing gear – or “ghost gear” – into the ocean.
If nets are marked with physical tags, chemical or color marking, or satellite buoys, authorities worldwide will be able to identify offenders and prosecute them accordingly for repeat incidents.
The organization did not list specific deadlines or details on how the strategy would be implemented legislatively, however they did state that “UN FAO has also been directed by its member countries to roll out a global strategy to tackle ghost gear.”
According to a study from March 2018, ghost gear is responsible for 46% of the plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch with 640,000 tons being dumped into the ocean every year.
Since 7 out of 10 animal entanglements are a result of abandoned fishing nets, the organization is calling the UN’s pledge a “massive win for sea animals”.
Clean Up Negativity And Share The Good News With Your Friends – Photo by World Animal Protection