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Marine Debris Program Collaborative Project on Derelict Fishing Gear in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum

February 15, 2021 — On February 1, the NOAA Marine Debris Program and the U.S. State Department secured project funding from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) for a project that will be led by the Ocean Conservancy's Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI).

The Marine Debris Program is cooperating with the U.S. Department of State and government officials from Malaysia and Thailand to oversee a project in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) to develop prevention strategies to address abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) in the APEC region. 

The project will engage APEC economy representatives to develop a best practice framework to address ALDFG in the region, building on past work of GGGI and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Voluntary Guidelines for the Marking of Fishing Gear (VGMFG). The project will also help to produce a fishing gear marking compendium to help facilitate the implementation of the VGMFG in the region.

APEC is a key regional multilateral forum for addressing marine debris, including 21 member economies of the Asia Pacific region. Collectively, APEC economies make up 41.8% of the habitable area of the world and 38% of the world population. Eight of the ten biggest fishing economies in the world are part of APEC, and together, they harvest nearly 134 million metric tons of seafood each year. By working through this forum, this project has the potential to have a large impact on stopping ghost gear.

The Marine Debris Program works closely with the State Department to represent the U.S. government at the APEC Oceans and Fisheries Working Group and helps guide work of APEC economies and key stakeholders in the Asia Pacific region to address marine debris. This project work continues the strong partnership between NOAA and the Department of State to address marine debris internationally.

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Last updated Friday, February 19, 2021 4:42pm PST