The location of lost or entangled fishing gear, known as derelict gear, is detected. The motion or change of position of a buoy attached to fishing gear is determined via sensors mounted on the buoy and compared to typical buoy motion. If the buoy has moved beyond a threshold value from its original location, an alert is sent to the fisherman. The available sensor data will be used to determine the likelihood of loss or entanglement. This alert facilitates recovery of lost or entangled gear by identifying where immediate retrieval efforts should be focused. The number of traps lost to the ocean that otherwise would continue to trap or entangle marine life may be reduced.