Celebrate World Oceans Day 2018 by fighting ghost gear with your phone

June 05 2018

We’re diving into Home Street, the mobile gaming app, to spread the word on lost and abandoned fishing gear, one of the most harmful threats to wildlife in our oceans

Ghost gear is not a well-known term, but it should be. Every day, it’s wreaking havoc for animals in our oceans, but most people are unaware of the issue.

Our Sea Change campaign raises awareness of this awful, deadly threat to marine animals.

Now we’re taking to mobile gaming to spread the word even further.

What is ghost gear?

Ghost gear is the term for abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded fishing gear.

A fish entangled in ghost gear. Photo by Alessio Viora / Marine Photobank

These nets, lines and traps injure and kill hundreds of thousands of whales, seals, turtles and birds annually.

And it’s getting worse every day.

The problem in numbers:

  • At least 640,000 tons of gear is left in our oceans each year
  • At least 136,000 large whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions and turtles become entangled in ghost gear
  • Ghost gear, often made of plastic, can continue to trap and kill animals for 600 years
  • 71% of marine animal entanglements involve ghost gear
  • More than 70% of macroplastics in the ocean by weight are fishing-related

Sea Change goes mobile

A problem this monumental needs innovative solutions.

We’re spreading the word about this marine menace by partnering with mobile game developer Supersolid, and its mobile gaming app Home Street.

During June 2018, you’ll be able to interact with Chris Dixon our Sea Change campaign manager, and learn more about how we can tackle this issue, together.

Chris will be leading beach cleans, recycling projects and events in the app.

“This partnership is all about being innovative and bold. Our #SeaChange campaign is about bringing people together to help end the suffering of marine animals from ghost gear, and partnering with Supersolid is helping move towards that goal. We’ve never tried anything like this before, and I’m excited to see it make a splash on World Oceans Day," said Ingrid Giskes, our global head of the Sea Change campaign.

Elizabeth Hogan, our Ocean and Wildlife Campaign Manager, was on board with local fishermen and the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation. They set out to remove discarded lobster pots and discarded fishing gear that harms marine animals

"Marine animals are suffering every day from entanglement and ingestion of ghost gear. To tackle this global problem at global scale, it’s important to tap into innovative solutions that can bring communities all around the world together to learn about the issue and take action."

"World Oceans Days is the perfect time to show your love for marine animals and express your desire for ghost gear free seas.”

Home Street is available to download in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store in your country now. Just search for "Home Street" or "Supersolid" and download it for free!

The GGGI

In 2015, we launched the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), an alliance of non-government organisations, academics and fishing industry leaders that aims to reduce the amount of ghost gear in the oceans.

Several of our GGGI partners are involved in our Home Street collaboration. Bureo, Plastix Global and PADI are lending Home Street players their expertise to show them how they’re fighting ghost gear in the real world.

What you can do

Collaboration and education are our best weapons in the fight against ghost gear.

We’ve already worked with one of the biggest seafood companies in the world, Thai Union, to introduce measures to combat ghost gear, and our work through our GGGI is making huge strides.

So far, we’ve positively impacted the lives of more than 1,000,000 marine animals.

In May 2018, we organized and sponsored the removal of nearly 2 tons of ghost gear in Maine

But there’s a long way to go.

Sign up for our email updates for more on our work protecting sea life, and other animals.

Home Street is available to download in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store in your country now. Just search for "Home Street" or "Supersolid" and download it for free!