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MEDIA ADVISORY: Ocean Conservancy’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative, Rozalia Project to Remove 12,000 Pounds of Ghost Gear from the Gulf of Maine

The sailing expedition will collect abandoned, lost, and discarded fishing gear from remote islands near Acadia National Park

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Washington, D.C.: On Wednesday, June 22, Ocean Conservancy’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) will partner with the Rozalia Project for a ten-day cleanup expedition aimed at removing at least 12,000 pounds of abandoned, lost, and discarded fishing gear from remote islands in the Gulf of Maine.

Ghost gear is among the most prevalent forms of ocean plastic pollution: research indicates that ghost fishing gear makes up 46-70% of all floating macroplastics in the ocean gyres by weight and up to a 30% decline in some fish stocks can be attributed to ghost gear. Within the U.S., it’s been estimated that 20-25% of lobster pots are lost annually. In real terms, within Maine alone, 3 million pots are set every year, potentially adding at least 600,000 new ghost traps to Maine waters annually.

The GGGI is the world’s only alliance solely dedicated to solving the problem of ghost gear on a global scale. Participants will use the GGGI’s Ghost Gear Reporter app to record the gear that is collected. This data uploads to the GGGI’s global data portal, the world’s largest repository of ghost gear data.

The Rozalia Project is a non-profit dedicated to addressing the problem of marine debris. A longtime partner of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup® (ICC), the Rozalia Project protects and cleans the ocean using technology, innovation, solutions-based research onboard their 60’ sailing vessel.  Since its founding, the Rozalia Project has removed over 1 million pieces of trash from our ocean and waterways and reached nearly 100,000 people of all ages and backgrounds through direct programs.

The groups will work with the Maine Island Trail Association (MITA) to conduct the island cleanups.

WHO
  • Representatives from Ocean Conservancy’s GGGI will be onboard and available for comment.
    • Chris Dorsett,  Vice President, Conservation Policy and Program
    • Madeline Black, Communications Manager
  • Ashley Sullivan, Executive Director of the Rozalia Project
WHAT
  • Ocean Conservancy’s GGGI will partner with the Rozalia Project to remove at least 12,000 pounds of ghost gear.
WHEN
  • Ocean Conservancy representatives will be onboard from Wednesday, June 22 through Monday, June 27.
WHERE
  • The American Promise oceanographic research vessel will depart from Bar Harbor, ME.
  • Removals will primarily take place on Outer Bar Island and Western Island Island off Corea.
CONTACT
  • Madeline Black, Communications Manager, Ocean Conservancy [email protected]; 201-874-0445

 

Note to media: Limited spots are available on the boat to observe the gear removal in action for up to four hours at a time; please contact Maddie Black at [email protected] if interested. Photos and video footage will be available following the training.

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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 100 stakeholder groups, including 20  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 preventative, mitigate and curative approaches to ghost gear, shaping fisheries management policy and building the evidence base around the prevalence and impact of this threat. In 2017, the GGGI developed the Best Practice Framework for the Management of Fishing Gear, which 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, Panama City, and Vanuatu. Learn more at www.ghostgear.org

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 www.oceanconservancy.org, or follow us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

About the Rozalia Project

Rozalia Project’s mission is to clean and protect the ocean and conserve a healthy, thriving marine ecosystem. We launched in 2010 with a focus on addressing the problem of marine debris in a unique and action-based way using a combination of restoration (cleanups), prevention through education, embracing technology and innovation and by conducting solutions-based research. Learn more by visiting RozaliaProject.org.

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