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A Voice for our Ocean

Walmart Joins the Global Ghost Gear Initiative

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WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Walmart, the largest retailer in the world, announced that it is joining Ocean Conservancy’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative® (GGGI). The GGGI is the world’s only alliance solely dedicated to solving the problem of abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (also known as “ghost gear”).

“We are thrilled to welcome Walmart as one of our corporate partners in the fight to eliminate ghost gear, the most harmful form of marine debris,” said Ingrid Giskes, Director of the GGGI at Ocean Conservancy. “Walmart is a huge retailer and their commitment to support efforts to address ghost gear will be incredibly impactful in the fight to protect our ocean.”

“In 2020 Walmart made a commitment to become a regenerative company, one dedicated to placing nature and humanity at the center of our business practices, including a goal to protect, more sustainably manage or restore at least 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030 along with the Walmart Foundation. This collaboration with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative aligns well with these efforts as well as our efforts to reduce waste across our supply chain,” said Mikel Hancock, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at Walmart.

Gear loss occurs wherever fishing takes place, often due to rough weather, snags beneath the surface, and marine traffic accidentally running it over and cutting it loose. In addition to its lethality, it’s also among the most prevalent forms of ocean plastic pollution: research indicates that ghost fishing gear makes up 46-70% of all floating macroplastics in ocean gyres by weight, and up to a 30% decline in some fish stocks can be attributed to ghost gear.

Walmart has been working with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) and its seafood suppliers to track seafood sourcing through the seafood metrics system. Building on this work, Walmart will continue to work with SFP and together with the Ocean Conservancy’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative, we will explore ways to help raise awareness on ghost gear and gear loss assessment and solutions.

Other retailers that are a member in the GGGI that have implemented dedicated work on ghost gear include Waitrose and Nomad.


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 130 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, mitigative 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

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 Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Media Contact

Roya Hegdahl


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