P>This two-stage study was designed to determine the types and quantities of lost fishing gear and their distribution in the Gokova Special Environmental Protection Area (SEPA), eastern Mediterranean Sea. The study was carried out in approx. 15% of the total Gokova SEPA (7000 hectares), where traditional fishing is intensive. In the first phase of the study, the owners of all fishing boats (about 67% of the local fishermen in Gokova SEPA, n = 56) were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. In the second phase, diving surveys were conducted at 14 locations to locate and identify lost fishing gear, estimate the extent of the loss, and deduce the coherence between the diving survey and the questionnaire data. The questionnaire results showed that 0.84% of gillnets, 3.41% of trammel nets, and 79.2% of longlines were lost during 2007 and that the major cause of gear loss was snagging on bottom structures. In the diving surveys, 22 600 m2 (2.26 hectares) of the bottom area were scanned, and an estimated 157 m of gill and trammel nets and 36 280 m of longline nets were located per hectare in the observed area. Moreover, at diving locations D1 and D2, lost trammel and gill nets were 'ghost fishing', suggesting that these lost gear should be removed from the ecosystem. A retrieval project coordinated by universities, fishery cooperatives, and NGOs might help accelerate efforts towards the removal of this lost gear.