Australian Marine Parks

Monday 3 May 2021

The Australian Government has launched the Ghost Nets Initiative by making a $14.8 million investment in projects to directly address the challenge of ghost nets and marine debris littering northern Australian waters and beaches.

Northern Australian waters and beaches hold some of the highest densities of ghost nets in the world, due to prevailing currents and conditions in the Arafura and Timor Seas and the Torres Strait.

Each year, tens of thousands of marine animals are killed indiscriminately by ghost nets in northern Australian waters and these nets contribute to the tonnes of plastic littering our oceans.

More than $5 million will be invested in new technology to better detect, collect and dispose of ghost nets, which may include mobile recycling plants, satellite tags and tracking databases.

Up to $7 million will fund work to be conducted with Indigenous ranger groups to collect data on the source of ghost nets and coordinate retrievals and marine debris beach clean ups in the Gulf of Carpentaria, one of the nation’s hot spots for ghost nets drifting from foreign waters.

The remainder will be invested in proactive steps to address the source of the issue with stakeholders, and enable further research and coordination.

Parks Australia will be working closely with multiple agencies, as well as a range of Indigenous, industry and environmental organisations to deliver this vital program and help to protect the environment from ghost nets.

Read more about the initiative