WE are inviting your readers to take part in World Animal Protection’s Sea Change Week from June 4 to 11 and take action for animals by helping us spot and record ghost fishing gear.

Ghost fishing gear refers to any fishing equipment or fishing related litter that has been abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded; also referred to as ‘derelict fishing gear’ and/or ‘fishing litter’.

Ghost gear represents one of the biggest threats to animals in our oceans, entangling, injuring and killing millions of animals every year.

We are dedicating a whole week to encouraging local beach users, coastal walkers, divers and ocean lovers to send us evidence of ghost fishing gear that is littering their local coastline. We are hoping that those who are heading to the beach over Sea Change Week will take two minutes to look for any type of fishing litter, such as rope or netting, collect it, upload a quick photo to our website and then dispose of it safely in a bin.

All of the photo uploads we receive will form part of a citizen science project that we will then use when meeting with Government and seafood companies to discuss the devastating impact of this problem.

Most fishing gear is made out of plastic meaning that it persists in the oceans for centuries, accumulating year on year.

World Animal Protection estimates that more than 136,000 seals, sea lions and large whales are killed by ghost fishing gear every year.

An unimaginable number of birds, turtles, fish and other species are also injured and killed.

In the UK, seals, minke whales, seabirds and dolphins are at particular risk.

We hope lots of people around the coast will feel inspired to take a look at how they can take part to protect our oceans and the animals that live there.

To find out more and how to log the ghost gear you find visit worldanimalprotection.org/seachange


UK Sea Change Campaign Manager, World Animal Protection, Gray’s Inn Road, London