Protect our oceans by choosing sustainable seafood

December 05 2018

You can help combat ghost gear by choosing smarter, sustainable food options

Through our Sea Change campaign, World Animal Protection has worked for years to bring about safer, cleaner oceans by combating ghost gear – abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear that remains in our oceans long after it’s been lost, entangling and killing millions of marine animals.

We work to reduce the volume of ghost gear entering our oceans, remove it from our oceans and recycle it, and rescue entangled animals.

Tons of ghost gear being pulled from the ocean

And as a consumer, the role you play is just as crucial in protecting our oceans.

Choose sustainable seafood

Consumers can help protect the health of our oceans and the delicate ocean ecosystem by purchasing certified-sustainable seafood.

Many of the certification labels take into account whether seafood companies address ghost gear in their supply chain.

You can ask local supermarkets to only carry sustainable seafoods and look for labels on the seafood brands you buy. 

Be an educated consumer

Your purchasing power can make a huge impact for marine life. 

A humpback whale feeding

We urge consumers to be aware of the origins of their seafood and try to buy seafood that’s certified sustainable.

There are many tools and resources available to assist in selecting sustainable seafood including: 

  • The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) blue fish label is an international sustainability label which indicates that seafood has been sourced using methods that minimize impacts on the marine environment and fish stocks. Consumers should look for the MSC blue fish label to find products that have been certified as sustainable seafood. 
  • The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch app helps consumers select ocean-friendly seafood and search locally for restaurants and stores that offer sustainable seafood. Seafood Watch focuses on seafood commonly found in the U.S. marketplace. 
  • The Aquaculture Stewardship Council manages the world’s leading certification and labeling program for responsible aquaculture. Look for the ASC label to find seafood that has been farmed responsibly and does not contribute to the ghost gear problem.  
  • Friend of the Sea also offers certification of sustainable seafood from fisheries and aquaculture. Consumers can look for the red, white and blue label or download the app. 

Speak out

Spread the word about the prevalence of ghost gear and encourage businesses and governments to address ghost gear in their supply chains.

While some seafood companies, like Thai Union and Tri Marine, are addressing ghost gear in their supply chains, many companies still need to take action.

We urge companies and governments to join the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, an alliance we founded that works collaboratively to combat ghost gear. 

Ghost gear demands urgent action. At least 800,000 tons of ghost gear is abandoned or lost in our oceans every year – enough to fill 65 Eiffel towers.

Ghost gear being pulled from the ocean

Ghost gear has caused an estimated 5-30% decline in some fish stocks.

Ultimately this could mean our oceans simply stop providing for people in the many ways we now rely on them.
By choosing sustainable seafood and by drawing attention to ghost gear, we can move companies to act for our oceans.

Thank you for protecting marine animals!

Ghost gear demands urgent action. At least 800,000 tons of ghost gear is abandoned or lost in our oceans every year – enough to fill 65 Eiffel towers.
Categories: