FGCAC members work towards 5 action items:

1) Water and Land Permitting

  • Goal: Improve existing permitting to ease fishing gear retrieval both at sea and on land.
  • The Ghost Gear Retrieval Strategy Group (GGRSG) is working with DFO to improve existing permitting processes for at-sea ghost gear retrieval to ease retrieval efforts. A new Section 52 Scientific Permit has been developed and is being finalized by DFO. The group will continue to discuss updates and changes from DFO, and review new information that may arise from ghost gear retrieval efforts in other areas.
  • The land based permitting team is working to simplify and promote shoreline, beach, and fishing harbour clean-ups in the Atlantic provinces. Team members are collecting information to develop education and communication tools and guides to help volunteer groups and individuals get involved in these types of clean-ups.

2) Onshore Disposal

  • Goal: Develop convenient solutions for onshore disposal of fishing gear and associated materials.
  • The onshore disposal team is researching and planning for a future waste management program for end-of-life fishing rope and lobster traps in Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec. The team has completed their research of current end-of-life fishing gear management and released reports for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. The team has also conducted engagement sessions with key stakeholders. You can learn more about their project on their webpage! This project is currently being funded by DFO’s Sustainable Fisheries Solutions and Retrieval Support Contribution Program.

3) Best Management Practices (BMPs)

  • Goal: Create a list of BMPs for gear retrieval that will be publicly available.
  • The BMP team has developed an overall set of BMPs for the entire Atlantic Region, which is currently under review by the FGCAC. Following this, a focus group will help assess if the BMPs can be applied to the entire Atlantic Region, or if they need to be scaled-down more locally.

4) Communications

  • Goal: Improve internal communications and external outreach.
  • The communications team has implemented their social media strategy and are active on the FGCAC Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages. The strategy clearly communicates who we are and what we do, for both FGCAC members and the general public.

5) Hot-spot Mapping

  • Goal: Create, refine, and expand hot-spot 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 hot-spot maps of known gear loss areas in Atlantic Canada – increasing both efficiency of retrieval and safety for all.

Each Action Team reports back to the FGCAC during each member meeting, and to the FGCAC Coordinator in writing on a quarterly basis for compilation in an Annual Report at the end of each fiscal year.

Ready to take action? Join our membership!