Joanna Toole's family continuing her dedication to world's ocean life

PUBLISHED: 17:00 08 July 2019

Joanna Toole. Picture: Adrian Toole

Joanna Toole. Picture: Adrian Toole


The family of an Exmouth woman who died in the Ethiopia Airlines crash are continuing her bid to make the oceans safer for animals.

Joanna Toole co-founded the Global Ghost Gear Initiative during her time at World Animal Protection before she was one of 157 people who died when an Ethiopia Airlines plane crashed minutes after take off.

The 36-year-old led the development and implementation of a global programme of work addressing abandoned, lost or discarded fishing nets also known as 'ghost gear'.

Her father Adrian has launched a fundraising page for donations towards World Animal Protection, which has set up an award in Joanna's name recognising the work done to solve the problem.

So far more than £900 has been raised on Mr Toole's Justgiving page, with a target of £2,000.

Mr Toole is also setting up a foundation in her name but until that happens, all donations will go straight to the World Animal Protection award.

In March this year, Joanna was on-board an Ethiopia Airlines jet when it crashed shortly after take off near the town of Bishoftu.

There were no survivors in the crash, which is still being investigated by civil aviation authorities.

In April, she was posthumously awarded her masters degree in 'implementing the United Nations sustainable agenda' from the RSPCA.

World Animal Protection announced last month it was creating the Joanna Toole annual Ghost Gear Solutions Award.

The honour, which recognises the work of those who are trying to reduce rogue fishing nets, will eventually be administered in partnership with the Joanna Toole Foundation.

World Animal Protection has committed to funding the award for the first three years.

Joanna's family have also begun legal proceedings against Boeing - the manufacturer of the crashed jet.

Speaking last month, Mr Toole said: "Joanna was a wonderfully warm and inspirational person who dedicated her life to the welfare of animals.

"The last few months trying to accept her death in such sudden and unexpected circumstances have been incredibly difficult.

"Since she was a little girl she knew that when she grew up she wanted a job where she could help animals."

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