What is the impact of ghost fishing gear in Cornwall, UK?

Abandoned and lost fishing gear is known as ghost gear. Ghost gear is a huge threat to marine animals and coastal wildlife. This case study highlights some research conducted by Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust, commissioned by World Animal Protection to investigate the extent of the problem in Cornwall, UK. 

Ghost fishing gear includes nets, ropes, lines, pots, hooks and other items, and it is estimated that 6.4 million tonnes of fishing gear are lost in the oceans each year. Entanglement in marine debris and specifically ghost fishing gear causes injury and death to a wide range of marine species, from mammals such whales, seals, dolphins to turtles, fish and invertebrates such as crustaceans and cephalopods. The research outlined here investigates the type and amount of ghost gear present, and the entanglement risks posed to marine animals.   

Read the full case study here.