Why is it called “ghost gear”?

Cryptic ghost gear. Image.
A cryptic ghost net.

‘Ghost gear’ probably got its name because of its cryptic nature and devastating effects. It can be can hard to see due to the gear itself – many fisheries opt for superfine, almost invisible, nets to increase their catch. It can be hard to find when it sinks into the deep sea and beyond our reach.

In addition, ghost gear, even though no one has control of it, continues to catch fish and other marine life. It is almost like it is being operated by a ghost crew of wind and currents.