Study of Great Pacific Garbage Patch reveals vast quantity of fishing nets


A recent scientific study in nature magazine shows that of the three-quarters of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that is composed of debris larger than 5 cm, 46% is composed of fishing nets – whether accidentally lost or deliberately jettisoned.

This fact alone proves that not only is pole and line fishing more sustainable and likely to catch healthier fish (and so better for human consumption), it is also directly less likely to add to plastic pollution of our oceans, unlike purse seine fishing. TradeScope client, Wild Planet Foods sources their tuna exclusively from pole and line catch fisheries, never using FAD purse seine or long-line gear. It’s due mainly to such uncompromising commitment to sustainability that Wild Planet achieved the #1 ranking in Greenpeace’s 2017 review of widely available canned tuna brands.

The study goes on to say that “…fishing, aquaculture and shipping was considered to be responsible for 28% of the global plastic inputs into the oceans, based on coastal clean-up data; however, observations at sea may lead to much higher estimates of plastic loads being lost or discarded at sea. As fishing, shipping and aquaculture intensify globally, it is crucial to better quantify and mitigate this significant source of highly persistent ocean plastic.”

The study may be read in full here.

If you'd like to know more about TradeScope's work with Wild Planet please contact Ted Horton here.

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