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Challenges and misperceptions around global fishing gear loss estimates


Richardson, K and Wilcox, C and Vince, J and Hardesty, BD, Challenges and misperceptions around global fishing gear loss estimates, Marine Policy, 129 Article 104522. ISSN 0308-597X (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

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, (

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2021.104522


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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), derelict fishing gear, fisheries management, marine debris, marine litter, sustainable fisheries
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Policy and administration
Research Field:Public policy
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Fisheries - wild caught not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Richardson, K (Miss Kelsey Richardson)
UTAS Author:Wilcox, C (Dr Chris Wilcox)
UTAS Author:Vince, J (Associate Professor Joanna Vince)
UTAS Author:Hardesty, BD (Dr Britta Hardesty)
ID Code:143934
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2021-04-12
Last Modified:2021-09-23
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