Fishing nets lost or abandoned: a major threat to the ocean

According to a study published by the United Nations, many lost fishing nets in the ocean are a real threat to the marine ecosystem. This "ghost fishing" is indeed the cause of the unnecessary capture of a very large number of marine animals.

"The report estimates that the equipment left in the oceans account for 10% (ie 640 000 tonnes) of marine litter", says United Nations on the environment.

The marine ecosystem is threatened by this phenomenon. Fishing nets lost in the ocean can continue to catch fish and other marine animals for several years after their abandonment.

They "continue to accumulate and impacts on marine ecosystems continue to deteriorate if the international community fails to take effective measures to manage the problem of marine debris as a whole" says Ichiro Nomura, Director-General of FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture).

The report therefore recommends that means be quickly implemented to address the problem: compensation for fishermen who will return nets abandoned or report their presence, or creating biodegradable fishing nets for example.

The report also calls on the Heads of States to consider this issue at the International Conference of the oceans to be held in Indonesia from 11 to 15 May.

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