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Two per cent of all fishing gear used worldwide ends up polluting the oceans, our new research finds. To put that into perspective, the amount of longline fishing gear littering the ocean each year can circle the Earth more than 18 times.We interviewed 450 fishers from seven of the world’s biggest fishing countries including Peru, Indonesia, Morocco and the United States, to find out just how much gear enters the global ocean. We found at current loss rates, in 65 years there would be enough fishing nets littering the sea to cover the entire planet.
This lost fishing equipment, known as ghost gear, can cause heavy social, economic and environmental damage. Hundreds of thousands of animals are estimated to die each year from unintentional capture in fishing nets. Derelict nets can continue to fish indiscriminately for decades.