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A Voice for our Ocean

Global Ghost Gear Initiative, IMO and FAO announce winners of Joanna Toole GloLitter grant

The grant to support women in marine conservation goes to three organizations in Kenya and Jamaica.

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Today, Ocean Conservancy’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) announced the awardees of the GloLitter Partnerships Project’s Joanna Toole Grant: ERACOMA and Women in the Maritime Sector in East and Southern Africa (WOMESA) in Kenya, and Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) in Jamaica.  The grant was launched earlier this year in memory of late conservationist Joanna Toole and seeks to empower women working to address plastic pollution – particularly abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), also known as ghost gear– from the fishing sector in developing countries.

In Kenya, the grant will support ERACOMA’s “Neti Ni Pesa” program, an initiative dedicated to recovering, recycling, and preventing ghost gear from artisanal fisheries in selected sites along the Kenyan coast. The program will engage local coastal communities, government, nongovernment, and private organizations to examine sources, hot spots, impacts, and management opportunities of ghost gear along the Kenyan coast through a variety of methods. The program includes a capacity building component that will train women and youths to sort and separate plastic waste, including recovered ghost gear, for re-use and recycling and sale to recycling industries. The data generated through the program will help inform Kenya’s national ghost gear action plan.

WOMESA’s work in Kenya was also selected to receive a grant through the program. The WOMESA-Kenya project aims to empower fishers to prevent ghost gear by working with Beach Management Units in Kilifi County to strengthen their capacities to deal with the issue. The project also includes a component aimed to assess and restore areas polluted by ALDFG.

In Jamaica, the grant will support the work of the Jamaica Environment Trust, a women-led non-profit organization. Specifically, the grant will support JET’s efforts to address ghost gear and plastics within the Palisadoes-Port Royal Protected Area and Kingston Harbour JET will collect and remove ghost gear from the area; sort and catalog what has been found; and work with fishers and key stakeholders to determine the reasons for and solutions to the local marine debris problem.

The GloLitter Partnerships project is supporting 30 developing countries in their efforts to reduce marine litter from the maritime transport and fishing sectors. Through partnerships with government, industry and non-governmental organizations, GloLitter spurs global efforts to demonstrate and test best practices to deal with ocean plastic pollution and enhance global knowledge of the problem. The GloLitter Partnerships Project is implemented by the IMO and FAO with initial contribution from the Government of Norway. More information about the project can be found at:

The GGGI is a key strategic partner of the GloLitter Partnerships project that is managing the Joanna Toole GloLitter Partnerships grant and supporting the implementation of good gear management practices and the Voluntary Guidelines for the Marking of Fishing Gear.


About the Global Ghost Gear Initiative

The Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) is the only cross-sectoral alliance dedicated to solving the problem of abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) – widely referred to as “ghost gear” – around the world. The GGGI brings together more than 120 member organizations, including 18 national governments as well as representatives from civil society, the private sector, public agencies, academia, intergovernmental organizations, and others from across the fishing industry to tackle ghost gear at a global scale. Since its founding in 2015, the GGGI has worked to implement a wide variety of approaches to ghost gear across prevention, mitigation and remediation strategies, shaping fisheries management policy and building the evidence base around the prevalence and impact of this pervasive global threat. In 2017, the GGGI developed the Best Practice Framework for the Management of Fishing Gear, which was updated in June, 2021 and has been adopted by a range of seafood companies and in national and regional marine litter and fisheries management action plans. The GGGI has made meaningful change on the ground in fishing economies and communities, partnering with local fishers to remove ghost gear in places like the Gulf of Maine, Myanmar, and Vanuatu. Learn more at

About Ocean Conservancy

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit,  or follow us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

About FAO

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
Our goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. With over 194 member states, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide. We believe that everyone can play a part in ending hunger. More information is available at

About IMO

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships. IMO’s work supports the UN SDGs.​ As a UN specialized agency, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented. More information is available at




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