A clearly marked and identified set of fishing gear

Environmental group World Animal Protection intends to use the 33rd Committee on Fisheries (COFI) session in Rome, taking place 9-13th July, as a platform to demand that member states of the FAO ensure that by 2025 all fishing nets should be ID tagged.

World Animal Protection, which in 2015 established the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) states that at present there are no effective mechanisms to identify the owner of fishing gear when it is lost or abandoned, making it harder to hold companies responsible and identify illegal operations.

According to the statement that World Animal Protection will make at this week’s COFI session, if all commercial fishing nets were tagged, fishing vessels would be incentivised to do more to ensure nets are not lost and to recover those that are.

‘Enforcement agencies would have the opportunity to trace and prosecute serial offenders. With various gear marking methods already available and new technologies on the horizon, a standardised global gear marking system is a viable solution to improve traceability in seafood supply chains and protect animals,’ a World Animal Protection spokesperson stated, commenting that physical tags, chemical marking, colour-coding, Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID), radio beacons and satellite buoys are just some of the tagging approaches available.

‘With the advance of cost-effective electronics and computer technologies, advanced gear marking technologies must become an integral part of @257;sheries management in the near future.’

‘Marking fishing gear, as part of a package of preventative fisheries management measures, will help whales, dolphins, seals and turtles who get caught in this incredibly durable gear by making it possible for gear to be traced back to its source. The UN must show leadership and protect our oceans from ghost gear.’

Source: World Animal Protection