SOURCE: International Association of Geophysical Contractors

International Association of  Geophysical Contractors

International Association of  Geophysical Contractors

December 05, 2016 17:00 ET

IAGC and Healthy Seas Announce Ocean Ghostnet Cleanup Partnership

Partnership better coordinates ocean litter clearing efforts of companies, divers, fisheries, NGOs, governments and communities

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - December 05, 2016) - The International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC), the global trade association representing all segments of the geophysical industry essential to discovering and delivering the world's energy resources today announced an ocean ghostnet cleanup partnership with Healthy Seas. The partnership improves upon the IAGC's Ghost Net Initiative and Healthy Seas' aim to clean the oceans and seas of derelict fishnets responsible for the unnecessary death of marine animals and recycle this debris into high-quality yarn. The partnership allows both organizations to expand their efforts and to coordinate on specific marine debris clean-up projects.

The IAGC has been the global voice for the geophysical industry for more than 45 years and launched its Ghost Net Initiative in June 2016.

"We are proud to partner with Healthy Seas," said Nikki Martin, IAGC President. "The industry has made great contributions during offshore surveys in cleaning up debris and removing ghost nets and derelict fishing gear, a growing issue in our marine environment. We believe this new partnership is a perfect fit for our member companies conducting marine seismic surveys and is a win-win for all marine environment stakeholders."

According to Washed Ashore,, there are roughly 315 billion pounds of plastic in our oceans today and about eight million tons enter the oceans each year. This plastic pollution impacts the environment and animals, damages habitats and causes economic loss. Studies find that at least one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die each year due to plastic pollution. Plastic pollution causes at least $13 billion in damage each year to the fishing, shipping and tourism industries.

Further, lost fishing gear or 'ghost gear' is among the greatest killers in our oceans. Fishing lines, nets, crab and shrimp pots and other commercial and recreational fishing equipment that has been lost, abandoned or discarded into the marine environment, continue to trap and kill fish, crustaceans, marine mammals, sea turtles and even seabirds. This ghost gear can also cause damage to underwater habitats and coral reefs as well as ships and vessels. The tons of non-biodegradable nets and lines that get lost each year can continue to "ghost" fish for decades and possibly even centuries.

"We are elated with our partnership with the IAGC. This will enable us to be increase our impact and outreach and be more efficient in locating ghost nets and working to remove and recycle them," said Rob Wolters, member of the Healthy Seas Steering Committee and Chief Executive of the ECNC Land & Sea Group.

The Healthy Seas initiative was launched by a non-governmental organization, the ECNC Land & Sea Group, and two businesses, Aquafil and Star Sock. Healthy Seas now works with a diversity of businesses, industries, fishermen, divers, NGOs and other groups to clean the oceans and seas of marine litter such as derelict fishnets and subsequently regenerate the nylon into high-quality yarn which is turned into brand-new, high quality sustainable textiles. Currently, Healthy Seas works with about 700 fishing vessels, more than 70 voluntary divers, and seven ports in a number of European countries. In 2015, Healthy Seas collected about 110 tons of fishing nets.

In addition to combining forces to remove ghost fishing nets and cleaning up marine debris to make our seas healthy again, the IAGC and Healthy Seas will work together on awareness campaigns, public communications and outreach activities.

The geophysical industry is committed to conducting offshore activities in an environmentally responsible manner, including compliance with mitigation and monitoring guidelines and regulations. The IAGC introduced the Ghost Net Initiative to begin cataloging the efforts by the geophysical industry in this form of environmental stewardship and promote the collective work done by the industry in this area.

About IAGC
IAGC is the international trade association representing companies that provide geophysical services, geophysical data acquisition, seismic data ownership and licensing, geophysical data processing and interpretation, and associated service and product providers to the oil and gas industry.

More information available at

About Healthy Seas:
Healthy Seas - 'a journey from waste to wear" recovers abandoned fishing nets that pollute our seas and coasts, and regenerates the nylon into high-quality yarn which is turned into brand new sustainable textiles. For more information about Healthy Seas, the current partners and how to become a partner, please see

Contact Information

  • Contact
    Gail Adams
    Vice President, Communications & External Affairs IAGC
    713-957-8080 - Office
    281-780-4520 - Mobile

    Healthy Seas
    Rob Wolters
    Chief Executive ECNC Land & Sea Group & member of the Healthy Seas Steering Committee
    +31135944944 - Office
    +31653691866 - Mobile