A possible solution that could reduce ghost fishing in Sweden.

In a memorandum written on behalf of the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM), they claim to have a solution on how to reduce ghost fishing from recreational fishery.

A short summary of the memorandum:

Lost pot

 Part of the recreational fishery in Swedish coastal and inland waters is carried out using passive fishing gear (e.g. gill nets and traps). Some of these are lost and become ghost gear (continue to catch and kill fish and shellfish for a long time). Suggestions are given on how ghost fishing can be reduced in different ways:

o Better marking of the gear with regard to the owner's identity ("ID tags"). This clarifies the responsibility and increases the incentive for the fisher to reduce the risk of losing the gear.

o Administrative measures like; a mandatory ID tag on the gear to be able to fish, a lost tag means that a new must be purchased, introducing a "ghost fee" (penalty) for lost gear not reported in time and detailed information on ghost fishing in connection with the receipt of ID tags.

o The importance that new regulations are logical, based on real facts (e.g. salvage costs) and easy to follow is stressed.

o There is a need for a dedicated organization or unit (like Ghost Guard) to coordinate efforts to reduce ghost fishing.

o There are technical devices available on the market with good potential to prevent losses and facilitate salvage (localization via hydroacoustic transmitters or passive reflectors, pop-up buoys, etc.).

However, these are normally too expensive to use in recreational fishing but technical development is expected to provide useful alternatives, which will hopefully be useful in commercial fisheries as well. 

Some concrete examples are provided on how a new system for marking, with described components, may be designed. Suggestions are adjusted to the needs of fishing regulators in the field.

Read the whole memorandum by clicking HERE

Published: 23.1.2019