‘Ghost fishing’ is what fishing gear does when it’s abandoned or lost. It floats around the ocean entangling marine life, including whales, fish, turtles and birds. The United Nations Environment Programme and the Food & Agriculture Organisation estimate there are more than 640,000 tonnes of abandoned fishing nets currently suspended in our oceans. Fortunately, there are companies and environmental groups out there doing their best to clean up the problem. Aquafil, an Italian company, offers incentives for fishermen to responsibly dispose of their old nets, and recover any fishing gear they find. Using a cutting-edge regeneration process, this ‘rubbish’ is transformed into ECONYL, a nylon yarn that’s used in the manufacture of carpets and clothing, including board shorts produced by world surf champ Kelly Slater’s company, Outerknown. Closer to home, Ghost Fishing New Zealand organises dive clean-ups to retrieve ‘ghost gear’ from our waters. What you can do: If you’re a fisher, be careful with your gear; don’t leave any behind. Pick up any abandoned fishing gear you see. (Broken lines are often snagged between rocks.) Use your power as a consumer and support brands that use ECONYL in their products.