Understanding Ghost Nets in Pakistan

Martin Stelfox

Identify the types of fishing gear used in Karachi, Pakistan and understand why and specifically the number of nets lost annually by fishers.

Understanding Ghost Nets in Pakistan consists of three components, research, education and removal of nets. Education ensures all stakeholders understand that discarding fishing gear in the ocean is both detrimental to the environment and to their livelihoods.


Through a series of education and awareness campaigns, we believe that this will spark a change in behaviour so that fishermen will dispose of damaged fishing gear responsibly in the future. Furthermore, a collaborative clean-up projects in shallow fishing grounds (by divers) will strengthen the relationship and bond between ORP, the core group of divers, and the fishing community. We hope that both the diving and fishing communities will see an immediate benefit once all discarded fishing gear is removed, as it may prevent further damage or loss of gear through snagging on ghost gear and, in time, an increase in fishing productivity. The clean up will also increase the aesthetic appeal of the dive sites. A comprehensive atlas on all fishing nets, gear, and boats currently used in Karachi will be an invaluable resource to help track ghost nets on a global scale. One of the key problems associated with finding ghost nets is determining where they originate. Due to the lack of information on active fishing gear used in Pakistan, this atlas will form the foundations for further research on nets used in the region. ORP is currently representing the Indian Ocean as part of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) founded by World Animal Protection (WAP) and this atlas will help in the development of a global database to help identify ghost gear on a worldwide scale.

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