Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada logo with a fish icon

At the Clean Summit 2.0, the FGCAC identified 5 action items to work on in 2020.

  1. Permitting: Improve existing permitting to ease fishing gear retrieval (water and land-based)
  • Ghost Gear Retrieval Strategy Group (GGRSG; Marine based permitting team) is improving existing permitting for fishing gear retrieval at-sea by working with DFO and Licencing. Implement solutions to ease ghost gear retrieval for fish harvesters, such as Section 52 Scientific Licences and any other viable options that may be proposed. 
  • The Land Based Permitting Team is simplifying and promoting shoreline, beach and fishing harbour clean-ups in the Atlantic provinces. They are developing education and communication tools and guides to help groups get involved in these types of clean-ups, and identifying and addressing barriers to land based permitting.

2. Onshore disposal: Develop convenient solutions for onshore disposal of fishing gear and associated materials (with a focus on rope)

  • The Disposal Team is collaborating with key stakeholders and rights holders to implement a product stewardship program for end-of-life fishing gear across Eastern Canada, starting with a pilot in Nova Scotia focused on rope and traps (lobster and crab). The program development and launch will occur between July 2020 to March 2022, and is funded by DFO’s Sustainable Fisheries Solutions and Retrieval Support Contribution Program.

3. Best Management Practices: Create a list of best management practices for gear retrieval

  • The Best Management Practice Team is distilling best management practices (BMPs) for ghost gear retrieval for the Atlantic Region, and developing a high-level overall set of BMPs for the entire region.

4. FGCAC Communications Strategy: Improve internal communications and external outreach

  • The Communications Team is developing and implementing a strategy that clearly communicates who we are and what we do, for both members and the general public. Current projects include building a website, launching our social media profiles, and communicating our research.

5. Hotspot Mapping: Create, refine and expand hotspot maps of known gear loss areas in Atlantic Canada

  • The Mapping Team is working with rights holders and stakeholders and leveraging local knowledge to make information more accessible in order to create, refine and expand hotspot maps of known gear loss areas in Atlantic Canada – increasing both efficiency of retrieval and safety for all.

Each action item is being addressed by an Action Team, which reports back to the Coalition on each call, and to the Coordinator in writing on a quarterly basis, for compilation in an Annual Report at the end of each fiscal year. There are 6 Action Teams; one per each action item, with the exception of permitting which is split into water- and land-based teams.