Ghost gear

Ghost gear, or ALDFG (Abandoned, Lost, or Discarded Fishing Gear), has been a fatal threat to marine life. To understand the type and origin of ghost gears, we worked with the NGO “Kuroshio Foundation” to conduct a coastal survey and interview local fishermen. Since East Asia is an important fishing ground for both capture and aquaculture fishery, and the Taiwan Strait is a crucial channel for the global shipping industry, 60% of the marine debris on Taiwan’s coastline was found to be derelict fishing gear, with foamed buoys (eg. Styrofoam), fishing nets and ropes, and buoys being the major types. We were able to identify certain ALDFG by the mark or words on it, but the increasing popularity of e-commerce platforms means that purchasing fishing gear from other countries online is also possible. Furthermore, we found that traps (such as eel catchers) are widely used in Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea, making it difficult to clarify the real sources of ALDFG, and necessitating regional cooperation. We compiled the information into two guidebooks, which can be accessed through the link provided.