California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project

Tire debris

The California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project was launched in July 2005. This project encourages ocean users to report the presence of lost gear, and hires experienced commercial SCUBA divers to remove gear and other marine debris from near-shore waters in a safe and environmentally sensitive manner.

Currently, with mitigation monies transferred from the California Coastal Commission, the California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project is continuing to help reduce the potential impact of lost fishing gear and marine debris on living marine resources and underwater habitat:

  • Retrieving lost fishing gear anywhere on the coast where it is a high priority for removal because of demonstrated or potential impacts to marine wildlife and people, especially in the Channel Islands and off the Southern California coast;
  • Working closely with commercial Dungeness crab fishermen to recover lost crab gear off the North and Central Coasts to reduce the hazard it poses to whales and the fishery; and
  • Increasing the likelihood that ocean users and enthusiasts will know enough about the project and the issue to serve as our “eyes” on and under the water through outreach.

For more information visit the California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project page on the SeaDoc Society website.


Reporting lost gear in California: 

  • Online
  • Call 1-888-491-GEAR  

California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project Policies & Procedures manual (pdf)

If you have questions about lost fishing gear removal in California, or for copies of our field reports, contact Dr. Kirsten Gilardi at kvgilardi@ucdavis.edu


The California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project is funded by grants made specifically for gear removal in California.