Status, Trends and Best Management Practices for Abandoned, Lost or Otherwise Discarded Fishing Gear (ALDFG) in Asia and the Pacific
Marine debris derived from Abandoned, Lost or Otherwise Discarded Fishing Gear (ALDFG) is considered as one of the most serious threats to marine ecosystems and fisheries, and thus warrants strong international cooperation and effective national responses to properly address. This paper examines international and national legal approaches that seek to address ALDFG, either directly or within the wider framework of fisheries or marine litter management. It analyzes the development of principles and standards in dealing with ALDFG and specifically examines the status and trends of ALDFG in Asia Pacific while surveying its causes and impacts. Building on the analysis of the region’s response, the paper looks at the issues and challenges specific to developing Asian and Pacific Island countries. Best management practices and corresponding implementation mechanisms as applied to local conditions are identified and discussed, with a particular focus on prevention measures as well as applicable mitigation and curative interventions. Accordingly, the study investigates case studies in the region, which include appropriate regulations and civil society initiatives. Finally, the paper provides recommendations for potential adoption in developing countries of specific rules, economic incentives and research pathways to support enabling environments for ALDFG management. This research supports the overarching framework for combating marine litter through behavioral, regulatory and system changes, to address marine pollution specifically originating from the fisheries sector.