Documentary: Ghosts in the Baltic Sea

"From the late 50's when we began to use synthetic material in nets and other fishing gear 100,000s km of nets have been put out to sea - many of them has been lost. Research has found that Swedish fishermen lose about 165 km of nets each year - you can imagine how much it will be in 20 years. If other countries around the Baltic Sea fish in a similar way and if we for simplicity assume that these countries lose an equal number of kilometers of nets that Swedish fishermen do, it will be 1320 km, that still remains out there - per year. There will be 26,400 km in 20 years, which corresponds to the length of the Baltic Sea, from north to south about 18 times. "That's the beginning of the film " Ghosts of the Baltic Sea "as the diver, musician and filmmaker Joakim Odelberg is working on.

In the Baltic, as in many other seas fishing gear has been abandoned, lost or just forgotten. The gear keep catching fish to no one’s gain. The stray fishing gear are called ghost nets and is a form of marine litter. The ghost nets have a negative impact on safety at sea both for pleasure boating and commercial shipping, but also has negative effects on the fishing industry and causing ecological damage. Ghost fishing is cruel and a waste of natural resources.

During the first part of the project, the project team searched for areas with litter and knowledgeable individuals for interviews. The actual recording took place in Sweden, Poland and Lithuania and its sea areas.

The film will feature footage from both above and below the surface. The aim of the film is that of an aesthetic and personal way address the problem of littering and ghost fishing in the Baltic Sea. The film is supposed to appear at film festivals and hopefully the TV channels all over Europe.

Intended audience is the general public, politicians, the industry, journalists, researchers in Sweden and in Europe.

Please visit our program area Opinion & Film for film and trailers.


Project status

Start: 2010-03-08
End: 2011-12-31


Project manager

Joakim Odelberg, Leofilm



2010-09-01 - Status report
Ghosts In the Baltic Sea


Conrad Stralka