Med Ghost Fads Campaign. archive photo. | Save The Med

The Save the Med Foundation has presented the results of the Med Ghost Fads campaign, which consisted of collecting fishing devices called ghosts which are plastic bottles tied to bundles of ropes, pieces of nets and other materials used for catching fish.

During the campaign from May 15 until September 30 a total of 12 expeditions were carried out over 98 days, covering more than 2,500 miles in the waters of Majorca and some in the waters of the other Balearic Islands.

On average 2-3 ‘ghost’ fishing devices were collected per day and a total of 200.

One objective of the campaign was to rescue sea turtles affected by fishing gear.

"The team started the season with high hopes that the lockdown would be positive for marine fauna, but in reality, the situation was very similar to previous years,” said the Head of the Med Ghost Fads Campaign, Ricardo Sagarminaga.

The main problem for cetaceans, dolphins, mantas and turtles is the illegal pelagic driftnets, illegal surface longlines and the deployment of ghost devices.

“Drift nets, ropes, ghost gear and garbage pose an alarming risk to marine biodiversity, the safety of navigation and fishermen,” said Save the Med Foundation.

The Foundation has also promoted the Todos por la Mar Exhibition in Balearic ports, which aims to raise awareness about pollution in the Mediterranean, the urgency of forming a fleet of sailors to remove ghost artefacts, rescuing turtles and the need to provide more resources for the centres for the recovery of marine fauna.