Fisheries and Oceans Canada announces 26 recipients of $8.3 million fund to clean up oceans of “ghost” fishing gear

News release

July 8, 2020

Ottawa, Ontario - The Government of Canada is working hard to protect our oceans and the marine life they sustain. We have been clear that our target is to protect 25% of our oceans by 2025, working toward 30% by 2030. As we work to increase marine protections from coast to coast to coast, we are also working to rid our oceans of harmful waste.     

Lost and abandoned fishing gear, or ‘ghost gear,’ is one of the largest contributors to marine litter around the world. It is one of the deadliest forms of plastic debris and poses serious danger to marine animals like whales and turtles, the coastal and marine environment, and global fishing stocks. To combat this threat, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is funding 26 projects in Canada and around the world to help rid the oceans of this destructive litter.

The $8.3 million Sustainable Fisheries Solutions and Retrieval Support Contribution Program, known as the Ghost Gear Fund will fund 22 projects in Canada and four internationally over the next two years. All projects fall into at least one of four categories: gear retrieval, responsible disposal, acquisition and piloting of available gear technology, and international leadership. 

Recipients of the Ghost Gear Fund include:

British Columbia

  • BC Shellfish Growers Association
  • Ecotrust Canada
  • Emerald Sea Protection Society
  • Natural Resources Consultants
  • The Ocean Legacy Foundation
  • Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association
  • T Buck Suzuki Foundation

Quebec

  • ACPG Capitaines Propriétaires de la Gaspésie
  • Les Cultures du Large Inc.
  • Merinov
  • Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du sud de la Gaspésie

New Brunswick

  • Fundy North Fisherman’s Association
  • Maliseet Nation Conservation Council

Nova Scotia

  • Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association
  • Coastal Action
  • CSR GeoSurveys Ltd.
  • Eastern Nova Scotia Marine Stewardship Society
  • Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Fish, Food, and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-UNIFOR)
  • Petty Harbour Fisherman’s Cooperative

International

  • Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute
  • Ocean Conservancy (Global Ghost Gear Initiative®)
  • Stand Out For Environment Restoration Initiative

For more information on Ghost Gear Fund recipients, including project descriptions, please visit: https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/ghost-gear

Quotes

“Fighting plastic pollution a priority for our government. We can’t have a health ocean or a strong blue economy if our waters are severely polluted by plastic.  The overwhelming interest in the Ghost Gear Fund demonstrates that Canadians share this priority and want to be a part of the solution. The recipients of the fund will make a significant difference domestically, and internationally, as they remove ghost fishing gear from the oceans, recycle or dispose of it responsibly.  Most importantly, they are creating tangible solutions to help prevent more plastic from entering our waters in the future.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • More than 8 million metric tons of plastic wind up in the ocean globally every year. 

  • On June 9, 2020, Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced that four Canadian small businesses will receive over $2 million in grants to expand their innovative work to minimize plastics pollution by recycling fishing and aquaculture equipment, and by adapting and recycling abandoned fishing gear into useful biodegradable products. 

  • On Feb. 11 and 12, 2020, Fisheries and Oceans Canada hosted a Gear Innovation Summit in Halifax, NS. The Summit was made up of panel discussions on short- and long-term strategies for the prevention, reduction, and retrieval of ghost gear, and featured innovations in gear and technology to reduce whale entanglements in an interactive exhibit space.

  • From July 18 to 20, 2019, DFO and the Canadian Coast Guard conducted a 3-day ghost gear retrieval operation called Operation Ghost in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This operation focused on areas with concentrations of ghost gear. We recovered over 100 snow crab traps removed over nine kilometres of rope from the water.

Associated links

Contacts

Jane Deeks
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
343-550-9594
Jane.Deeks@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-990-7537
Media.xncr@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Stay connected


Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: