Hunting Ghost Net

Reducing the impact of ghost nets on marine ecosystems and protecting marine fauna


  Sustainable Development Goals:




To reduce the devastating impact of ghost nets on marine ecosystems and protect marine fauna through the removal and proper disposal of these nets, thereby promoting the regeneration of marine habitats and safeguarding biodiversity. 


The Danger of Ghost Nets to the Oceans: 

Ghost nets are abandoned, lost, or negligently discarded fishing gear in the seas and oceans. These nets pose a significant threat to marine ecosystems and the wildlife inhabiting them. Ghost nets are dangerous because they continue to trap and kill marine fauna even after being abandoned. Once in the ocean, these nets float or settle on the seabed, where they can remain for years, or even decades, continuing to catch and kill fish, marine mammals, turtles, seabirds, and other marine organisms, many of which are protected species. 

Furthermore, over time, ghost nets break down into small pieces known as microplastics, which are ingested by animals. 

According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, it is estimated that over 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear, including nets, are abandoned or lost in the oceans every year. This substantial quantity of ghost nets poses a serious problem for marine ecosystems and the wildlife that inhabits them. 



Removing Ghost Nets for Marine Habitat Restoration: 

Removing fishing gear after it has been lost is the only method to eliminate ghost nets. Once removed from the seabed, there is a relatively rapid recovery of marine habitats. 

However, recovering these nets is not an easy task and requires the coordinated efforts of a structured team of divers to carry out these operations. For example, a fishing net recently recovered in Sardinia by MEDSEA and its partners was located at a depth of over 30 meters, measuring 200 meters in length and weighing nearly 400 kg. 

The activity involves a preliminary phase of information gathering and reporting, conducted in collaboration with the Coast Guard, professional categories operating at sea, and associations of divers or free divers. This activity allows for a general mapping of the locations of ghost nets along the coasts. 

The identified abandoned nets are then removed from the seafloor and properly processed for reuse or disposal. 



To identify and remove at least 1 ton of ghost nets from the seafloor along the coasts, thereby mitigating the negative impact on marine ecosystems and local fauna. 



Support our Campaign

Our actions are supported by organizations that want to make a difference to protect the marine, terrestrial and coastal ecosystem to avoid particularly negative impacts, also by strengthening their resilience, and to act for their restoration in order to obtain healthy and productive oceans​ and soil.

Together with some of them we have carried out concrete projects for the protection of our sea and for the creation of new Posidonia forests, for circular economy and precision agriculture to limit waste and protect natural resources like freshwater.​

The actions that we will continue to carry out together in the next decade to protect our ocean and land will affect the future of our planet for centuries to come: we have a huge responsibility towards the planet, towards ourselves and future generations.​

Donor information

Donation Information



Our Dedicated Team for Hunting Ghost Nets: 


Francesca Frau



Andrea Alvito

Marine Biologist


Alessio Satta

Environmental engineer


Photos: Andrea Alvito 


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