Contribution of tuna gillnet fisheries of Pakistan towards abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gears (ALDFG)
Increased consumption of plastic in daily life has resulted in increased plastic pollution globally including manifold increase in the pollution resulted from disposal of plastic in marine environment Of the many sources. plastic pollution, is resulted from fishing and fishing related activities. Deliberate, inadvertent and accidental loss of fishing nets in the sea represents a significant threat to marine ecosystems. Abandoned, discarded and lost fishing gear (ALDFG), is estimated to account for 10 % of global marine plastic pollution and the quantities are ever increasing. Although tuna fishing vessels operates in the deep oceanic waters where chances of their entanglements in bottom rocks, reefs and ship wrecks are negligible but still tuna gillnetting is important source of ALDFG mainly because largest quantity of fishing gear carried by a single vessel i.e. on average 3,303 kg per tuna gillnetter whereas small gillnet vessels operating in coastal waters carry on average 96 kg only. Out of a total of 42.340 events of ALDFGs reported from Pakistan only 874 related to tuna gillnet operation was reported. Of the total amount of gears lost at sea i.e. 2,608,058 kg only 221,551 kg was contributed by tuna gillnetters. Major causes of loss or damage to fishing gears of tuna gillnet are accidental entanglement and loss due to environmental factors such currents and waves action as well as cyclone and high winds. Now with the marking of tuna gillnets with AIS (Automatic Identification System) beacon events of ALDFGs are practically diminished.