Fishing4Ghosts is a project dedicated to marine conservation, more specifically to counter marine pollution with fishing gear, so called “ghost gear pollution”. Ocean pollution with fishing gear is an often underestimated und underrated thread to marine wildlife on a global scale. Countless animals get entangled and die miserably in ghost gear each year. Fishing4Ghosts tackles this global issue in several ways. Raising Awareness. Upcycling. Coastal- and underwater clean ups. 10% of profits donated to “close the loop” as part of a circular economy around old fishing gear in southern Portugal.
The infographic summarizes important parts, effects, and the philosophy of the project.
Stylish, high quality products are handmade from old fishing gear. We produce bracelets, keychains, sunglass- and mask-straps (optionally customized). The materials are collected in different harbors along Southern Portugal as well as during regular coastal clean-ups (70-80% of the plastic litter we find along the coastline is related to fisheries). The collection of the materials is used to sensitize the fishermen, harbor authorities as well as the participants of the clean-ups for the issue. Fishing4Ghosts is solely focused on solutions through stakeholder involvement in a motivational, positive way – change can only happen with the fishermen, and with the people living along this beautiful part of the world!
A really promising short-term and quite immediate solution to tackle environmental pollution are circular economies. That’s why we chose this model to tackle ghost gear pollution. Giving the old gear a new life, by making new products out of it and financially incentivizing fishermen to deliver the gear at collection points. Hence, awareness is created and less gear is lost in the ocean. It is no longer waste but a valuable resource. Generally, the most convincing about circular economies in environmental conservation is the fact that no external funding is needed. In the times we live in, a project is more likely to be successful on a long term if it’s profitable or at least financing itself. That’s the motivation behind Fishing4Ghosts!
Overall the project aims to have a zero-waste policy and all the steps are carefully thought through. For example, the cleaning process is conducted with organic, biodegradable washing powder, using a device that prevents microfibers to enter the wastewater. The packaging is (if not avoidable) made out of 100% recycled materials and used to inform about the problem of ghost gear in our ocean.
The more the project grows, the more jobs will be created on a local level where jobs are really needed. It is part of the vision of Fishing4Ghosts to create jobs for socially deprived people.
Also, social media channels are used to inform the general public about the global ghost gear pollution and the urgency to act. And of course, the products themselves have the potential to contribute to raising awareness by sparking discussions. Everyone who wears a bracelet, keychain or mask-strap carries a message from the ocean – and can help spread the word!
Additionally, 10% of the profit is donated. 5% is used to incentivize the fishermen to deliver their old gear to the collection points and 5% is donated to the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), an NGO which is raising awareness and advocating on this issue globally.
We have already established vital cooperations. Fishing4Ghosts is supporting the “Mar Sem Lixo” (“The Ocean without Litter”) project, which is run by the Portuguese harbor authority (“Doca Pesca”) and aims to reduce litter related to fisheries.