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Challenges and misperceptions around global fishing gear loss estimates


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Richardson, K, Wilcox, C, Vince, J ORCID: 0000-0002-4469-7634 and Hardesty, BD 2021 , 'Challenges and misperceptions around global fishing gear loss estimates' , Marine Policy, vol. 129 , pp. 1-5 , doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2021.104522.

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Abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) represents a major sea-based source of marine debris globally, with far-reaching socioeconomic and environmental impacts. Estimates of the amount of ALDFG entering the ocean have implications for managers and policy makers as they work to tailor solutions at scale. While scientists have worked since the 1970s to develop quantitatively rigorous estimates for ALDFG, the estimate that 640,000 tonnes of ALDFG enters the ocean annually has been repeatedly and erroneously cited for over a decade. We trace the history of this misinformation and discuss the implications of the perpetuation of this estimate. We also discuss major challenges around the creation of statistically robust global ALDFG estimates, and present opportunities to refine and improve estimates of lost fishing gear.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Richardson, K and Wilcox, C and Vince, J and Hardesty, BD
Keywords: abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), derelict fishing gear, fisheries management, marine debris, marine litter, sustainable fisheries
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Policy
Publisher: Elsevier Sci Ltd
ISSN: 0308-597X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.marpol.2021.104522
Copyright Information:

© 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license, (

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