Abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear (Primary)

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Slide 1: Slide
ScienceGeography+34-6 Grade6th,7th Grade

This lesson contains 30 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 2 videos.

time-iconLesson duration is: 45 min


Overfishing is emptying the ocean, with 90% of fisheries already overfished. Issues such as by-catch are having a significant impact on marine wildlife. This includes entanglement in Abandoned, Lost and Discarded commercial fishing gear.

Items in this lesson


Slide 1 - Slide

Abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear and it's impacts on marine wildlife.

Slide 2 - Slide

Slide 3 - Video

Abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear
become deadly ghosts in the ocean.

Slide 4 - Slide

Thousands of innocent victims each year.
150,000 whales, dolphins and seals  200,000 sea birds.

Slide 5 - Slide

640,000 tonnes of ALD fishing gear each year.

Slide 6 - Slide

Why or how
do you think fishing gear is
abandoned, lost or discarded?

Slide 7 - Mind map

Abandoned fishing gear
Abandoned –  means the deliberate non retrieval of fishing gear.

Slide 8 - Slide

Why do you think fishing gear might be abandoned?

Slide 9 - Open question

Abandoned fishing gear
Law enforcement pressure.

IUU fishing – gear left behind as vessels flee law enforcement.

Illegal gear – left behind before going into port in case they are inspected.

Leave behind if they run out of time to collect.

Slide 10 - Slide

Lost fishing gear
Lost – means that the fishing gear is accidentally lost at sea.

Slide 11 - Slide

Lost fishing gear
Spatial and environment conditions.
Becomes entangled with another vessels gear.

The fishing gear is  unintentionally lost, nets loose buoys / floats or move with bad weather.
Nets or lines caught and can’t be retrieved – caught on rocks or reef systems.

Extreme weather – lost during bad weather or has to be left as they flee to escape the storm.

Slide 12 - Slide

Discarded fishing gear

Discarded – is the deliberate disposal at sea of fishing gear.

Slide 13 - Slide

Discarded fishing gear
Operational / economic pressure.

Too much gear for the space on board, especially if they have a big fish catch.

Dump old gear rather than having to dispose of properly on shore, saving them money by dumping over board.

 Gear is damaged and have no use for it, so easier to dump overboard than pack up and secure for onshore disposal.

Slide 14 - Slide

Driftnet refers to the setting of nets along the top of the ocean. 

A driftnet hangs vertically in the water attached to ropes along the ocean surface with buoys and weights along the bottom.

Target pelagic fish that live in open ocean.

Slide 15 - Slide

Gillnets are walls of netting set in a straight line, using floats on the surface the length of the lines can be adjusted to set the nets at varying depths.

They are usually set several kilometres below the surface and can be many kilometres long. 

They are used for deep living fish like toothfish. 

Slide 16 - Slide

Long lines are fishing lines that can run for up to 100 km with thousands of baited barbed hooks.

Pelagic long line, which consists of a main line with shorter lines attached containing the hooks.

Slide 17 - Slide


These devices are designed to lure fish into an area to make it easier to find and catch fish. 

Small fish use the floating debris to hide from larger fish in the open ocean.

Larger fish know this so visit the debris in search of an easy meal.

Slide 18 - Slide

Why are nets and other gear
not recovered by the
fishing industry?

Slide 19 - Mind map

Why are nets and other gear not recovered?
No location tracking device
on fishing gear.

Fishing gear is not tagged by owners.

Slide 20 - Slide

Slide 21 - Video

Migrating whales become trapped in nets or cray pots.

Slide 22 - Slide

Nets are made of Nylon -  up to 40 years before breaking up.

Fishing lines can be made of monofilament - last up to 600 years before breaking up. Pelagic long lines can be over 80kms long.

Slide 23 - Slide

North Pacific Gyre
Up to 46% is plastic from fishing gear.

Slide 24 - Slide

Removing illegal nets and lines from the ocean.
Sea Shepherd conducting campaigns around world.

Slide 25 - Slide

How do you think ALD fishing gear and it's impacts can be reduced?

Slide 26 - Open question

Ways to reduce ALD fishing gear?
  • Tackle IUU fishing.
  • Introduce tracking devices on fishing gear.
  • Compulsory monitoring and recovery of nets.
  • Change materials used to make gear.
  • Required reporting of lost gear and its location.
  • Reduce risk fishing practices.
  • Required identification on all gear.

Slide 27 - Slide

How do you think you could
help reduce plastic pollution
from fishing gear?

Slide 28 - Mind map

Slide 29 - Slide


Slide 30 - Slide