A Voice for Our Ocean

MEDIA AVAIL: Ocean Conservancy, Government of Panama to Remove Lost Fishing Gear from Waters Off Tobogilla Island, Panama

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(C) Matthew Gilbert_Ocean Conservancy 4
© Matthew Gilbert

Isla Taboga, Panamá: On March 4, 2023, Ocean Conservancy’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative and the government of Panama are organizing a ghost gear retrieval event near Taboga Island, Panama. Ghost gear is the term used to describe lost, abandoned, or otherwise discarded fishing gear.

Ghost gear is among the most prevalent forms of ocean plastic pollution: research indicates that ghost fishing gear constitutes up to 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.

The Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) is the only global alliance dedicated exclusively to solving the problem of ghost gear at a global level. The government of Panama became a member of the GGGI in 2017 and was one of the first member countries to join the initiative. Today, there are 20 governments, 72 NGOs, 51 businesses and 9 academic organizations that are members of the GGGI.

Since 2009, the Aquatic Resources Authority of Panama (ARAP) has been contributing to ocean conservation through trash collection from beaches as well as ghost gear removal projects. To date, around 5,000 kg of ghost nets have been removed from Panamanian waters through this program.

There are a few spots available to reporters on the boat to observe the ghost gear removal from Taboga Island. We also have a photographer who will take photos and videos of the event that we can share with press following the retrieval event. Please email Roya, communications manager for the GGGI, if you would like to observe the retrieval or if you would like us to share videos and photos with you following the event.

Who: Those attending the retrieval from the Panamanian government and the Global Ghost Gear Initiative:

·        Ynes Sanchez, General Directorate of Planning and Integral Management

·        Hannah Pragnell-Raasch, Project Specialist, Global Ghost Gear Initiative

·        Felipe Victoria, Senior Manager of International Plastics Policy, Ocean Conservancy

·        Roya Hegdahl, Communications Manager, Ocean Conservancy

When: March 4, 2023, 8:00AM-12:00PM ET
Where: Tabogilla Island (please contact Roya if you would like to attend and she will share the meeting point and time)
Contact: Roya Hegdahl, Communications Manager, Ocean Conservancy: [email protected]; +1-206-948-7874

(She can also be contacted via Whatsapp)



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

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