Used fishing gear collected in large outdoor piles.

Collaborating Across Borders: The North American Net Collection Initiative

The Ocean Conservancy’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative is coordinating with partners in California and in Mexico to better manage and prevent the loss of fishing gear and launch the North American Net Collection Initiative.

Type of Project: North America Marine Debris Prevention and Removal

Region: California and Mexico

Project Dates: September 2021 - August 2023

Who is involved?
With support from the NOAA Marine Debris Program, the Ocean Conservancy’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative is carrying out this innovative, cross-border derelict fishing gear project, in collaboration with Bureo, Inc. and the Manta Caribbean Project, which is based in Mexico. 

What is the project and why is it important?
Derelict fishing gear, or ghost gear, is lost and discarded gear that is no longer under the control of a commercial or recreational fisher. It includes nets, lines, crab/shrimp pots, and other fishing equipment. This type of debris can continue to catch and harm marine life, cause problems for vessels by wrapping around rudders and propellers, and damage ecosystems and fishing grounds. It is one of the deadliest and most harmful forms of marine debris to marine animals and has many negative impacts to fisheries, fisher livelihoods, and the marine environment. 

This project is helping to reduce ghost gear by launching an innovative new cross-border effort, the North American Net Collection Initiative (or NANCI), to collect used and retired fishing gear for processing and recycling for use in new products. The project also works with fishers and fisheries managers in both the United States and Mexico to improve the management of gear and promote recycling of end-of-life gear. Project partners are increasing the dialogue among the United States, Canada, and Mexico as three member governments of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative to share and strengthen solutions to reduce ghost gear in these countries. 

In Mexico, the project is assisting the Government of Mexico in developing a national ghost gear action plan, and increasing comprehensive understanding of ghost gear ‘hotspots’ through predictive modeling analysis and extensive fisher surveys. Through this project, the partners will help to reduce the amount of fishing gear lost or abandoned in the ocean, promote an innovative gear recycling model, and increase collaboration among the governments of the United States, Canada, and Mexico to find solutions to continue to keep our ocean clean and free of marine debris. 

For more information about this project, visit the Marine Debris Program Clearinghouse.

Last updated Tue, 05/21/2024 - 05:09 pm EDT