Our MISSION is working together on action to preventing and developing sustainable solutions to end-of-life fishing gear and abandoned, lost, and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), and associated materials.

We work towards 3 main areas of focus, called pillars:

  1. Resource Management
  2. Retrieval & Innovation
  3. Research & Communications
Our Story

Since forming in November 2018, the Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada (FGCAC) has been working together on preventing and recovering end-of-life fishing gear and ALDFG, and developing sustainable solutions to retrieve and manage these materials.

The FGCAC is a not-for-profit corporation under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act.

The FGCAC is composed of over 50 members from various backgrounds including industry, government, communities, academia, and the public across Canada and the United States. We recognize that the solutions we need require all of us to work together to support our fishing communities and help protect the ocean resources for generations to come. We have proven effective in laying the groundwork to fill resource management, research, and communication gaps, while working alongside government and industry, as well as other stakeholders and rights holders. FGCAC members join regularly during conference calls to share knowledge and keep everyone informed of ongoing activities, with individual Action Teams focused on specific areas of concern, such as onshore disposal, hot-spot mapping of known fishing gear loss, and fishing gear retrieval logistics.


On November 27th and 28th, 2018 at the Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, the Clean Ocean Summit hosted by Clean Foundation aimed to create a setting to foster sharing of solutions and generate a supportive environment for building networks and partnerships. Partnerships were self-selected into Action Groups consisting of members who accepted responsibility in being a part of actionable, focused solutions.

With the help of the Summit’s Facilitators, 5 Action Groups were formed: Fishing Gear, Ocean Literacy, and Single-Use Plastics.

In Spring 2019, the Fishing Gear Action Group rebranded as the Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada and upkeeps regular conference calls with members. During the Clean Summit 2.0 on November 18th and 19th, 2019 at the Harbourfront Marriott Hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada expanded as more members  joined.

The Why

Atlantic Canada is highly dependent on the resources and ecosystem services provided by the ocean, and therefore has a vested interest in protecting and maintaining a healthy marine environment. Ghost gear and marine pollution pose a significant threat to the Atlantic Canadian social, economic, and natural capital by threatening water quality, habitat, commercial fish stocks, the safety of marine navigation, and the natural beauty of our coastal communities and recreation sites. While much of the pollution entering our oceans originates on land, there is a particular threat posed by the improper disposal of fishing-related waste, which includes fishing nets, traps, buoys, ropes, vessel fuel and oil, and disposable consumer items. Lost or abandoned fishing gear, also known as ‘ghost gear’, has unfortunately become a common issue threatening the health of Atlantic Canada’s fishing industry.