After campaigning against lost and abandoned fish gear on marine life, World Animal Protection welcomes the adoption from the International Whaling Commission of a resolution that will protect whales from ghost gear entanglement.
Lost and abandoned fishing gear (ghost gear) is the biggest threat to whales and other marine life. To tackle this problem World Animal Protection has founded the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, a multi-stakeholder alliance aiming at collecting data and prioritising solutions in “hotspot’ areas where ghost gear is a major problem.
During the 67th meeting of the International Whaling Commission, World Animal Protection successfully called on 89 UN member states to endorse a series of suggestions – in what became known as the ‘Ghost Gear Resolution’ – put forward by the Brazilian Government. World Animal Protection’s team collaborated directly with the Ministry of the Environment in drafting the resolution that has been unanimously adopted by the International Whaling Commission.
This resolution means the International Whaling Commission is encouraged to share data on whale entanglements with The Global Ghost Gear Initiative’ s global data portal. The resolution will also promote better practices and provide ongoing support for practical protection and prevention initiatives. One of these initiatives is the Global Whale Entanglement Response Network which provides trainings to countries on whale migration routes to help them disentangle whales in distress.
Ingrid Giskes, World Animal Protection’s global head of Sea Change Campaign, says: “The endorsement of this resolution sees the work on ghost gear being further embedded within International Whaling Commission’s strategic priorities. We are excited for IWC to start collaborating more closely with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative to implement best practices to prevent, mitigate and remove ghost gear to reduce the entanglement of whales and dolphins. We’re pleased that the #IWC67 has listened! It’s through collaboration like this that we’ll tackle the massive problem of ghost gear.”