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Tackling Marine Debris in the 21st Century
Overarching Finding: DFG and abandoned or lost FADs fall under both MARPOL Annex V (and corresponding domestic laws) and fisheries management treaties and regulations. This overlap has complicated implementation of measures to prevent and reduce these sources of debris. Current regulations do not include accountability measures for gear loss, and fishermen and fisheries management organizations have few incentives and several disincentives to take responsibility for the impacts and for cleanup. Inadequate port facilities and high disposal costs are an impediment to disposal of waste and DFG.
Overarching Recommendation: MARPOL Annex V (and corresponding domestic law) and international and domestic fisheries treaties and regulations should be revised to clearly identify and prohibit preventable losses of fishing gear, including FADs. IMO, FMCs and fishery management organizations, and other relevant entities should incorporate gear accountability measures and facilitate proper disposal of fishing gear, including FADs.