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NOAA Participates in Global Ghost Gear Initiative Sixth Annual Member Meeting

MAY 28, 2024 — This month, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) participated in the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) 6th Annual Members Meeting in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. The event brought together diverse sectors from multiple countries to learn about the latest efforts to combat lost and abandoned derelict fishing gear, strengthen opportunities for global collaboration, and connect with a diversity of sectors and voices.

Women standing at podium giving presentation on federal marine debris program.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program highlights work to address derelict fishing gear at the Global Ghost Gear Initiative Meeting. Image credit: NOAA.

The GGGI is the world’s leading multi-stakeholder partnership aimed at reducing and preventing the loss of fishing gear in the marine environment. It is also an implementing partner for the Voluntary Guidelines for the Marking of Fishing Gear, developed by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization. The GGGI is the first global alliance of its kind dedicated to tackling the problem of ghost fishing gear by building evidence about the extent of the problem; defining and implementing best practices that inform policies that prevent, mitigate, and remediate ghost gear; and developing and scaling innovative holistic solution projects at various sites around the world.

The United States Government is one of many member governments of the GGGI, along with members from the private and civil society sectors. MDP provides input into GGGI’s work of addressing derelict fishing gear internationally and actively partners with GGGI to promote best practices to reduce derelict fishing gear.

During the visit, MDP participated in a number of discussions and presentations. MDP’s California Regional Coordinator participated in a government roundtable, Stakeholder Perspectives Panel (alongside projects in SOFER Initiative based in Nigeria; Lobsterman and Commercial Diver, Maine, USA; and the Manta Caribbean Project in the Mexican Caribbean) and also presented during a lightning round session. The presentation provided a high-level overview of the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s 2024 latest news and partnerships tied to Abandoned Lost or otherwise Discarded Fishing Gear. This included MDP’s regional prevention and removal of derelict fishing gear, national monitoring efforts to analyze its prevalence, and international collaboration work across debris types. MDP’s Pacific Island Outreach Coordinator and Pacific Island Regional Coordinator participated in roundtable discussions and provided insight on MDP’s Hawai‘i and Pacific Island territories, including the Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan.

During the meeting, attendees also visited Pier 38 with a presentation by Hawai‘i Longline Association to learn about their participation in Hawai‘i Pacific University’s derelict gear bounty program. This was followed by a tour of the E-Opala Recycling Facility with presentations by Hawai‘i Pacific University's Center for Marine Debris Research.

MDP continues to support the GGGI, including through a grant for their North American Net Collection Initiative to enhance the collection and recycling of end-of-life gear and prevent additional gear from becoming lost, as well as other cross-boundary efforts.  Over the coming years, GGGI members will continue to work with partners around the world to both remove ghost gear that is currently lost in our ocean and prevent more from being lost or abandoned in the future.

Last updated Thursday, May 30, 2024 11:21am PDT