Iceland joins initiative to help protect marine life from lost fishing gear

March 19, 2021

Image credit: GGGI + Shin Arunrugstichai


Iceland has become a member of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) – the world’s largest cross-sectoral alliance committed to driving solutions to the problem of lost, abandoned and discarded fishing gear (also known as “ghost gear”) worldwide.

As part of its membership, Iceland will collaborate with other GGGI members to help achieve the initiative’s goals of improving the health of marine ecosystems, safeguarding human health and livelihoods and protecting marine animals from harm.

The GGGI has a holistic approach, working cross-sector with the fishing industry, private sector, NGOs, academia and governments. Projects involve training people to safely recover ghost gear from waters, educating fishers on recycling of nets and other gear, capacity building work to improve the understanding of best management practices of fishing gear, data collection and recording to understand and mitigate the problem.

Iceland will also introduce GGGI to its Fish and Seafood suppliers via its Plastic Free Working Group in April, giving them the opportunity to learn more about the initiative and become members themselves.

Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland, said: “Ensuring our oceans remain an environment where marine life can live and thrive is absolutely imperative. We are proud to become a member of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative and help tackle the problem of ghost fishing gear. Reducing pollution is an issue that Iceland has been addressing since we made our industry-leading plastics commitment and joining the GGGI is another step forward in our efforts to reduce marine pollution.”

GGGI was founded by non-profit World Animal Protection in 2015 in a bid to help remove some of the millions of abandoned fishing nets, pots and lines that get left in the sea each year. Since 2019, the GGGI has been hosted under Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas® program. For further information visit