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The State of Abandoned, Lost and Discarded Fishing Gear in the Canadian Maritimes (East Coast)

The State of Abandoned, Lost and Discarded Fishing Gear in the Canadian Maritimes (East Coast) is a comprehensive four-chapter report that details the national and regional efforts around abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) – commonly referred to as “ghost gear.” It also presents research on potential solutions to prevent ALDFG and mitigate its effects. This report was prepared by Alexa Goodman on behalf of the Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada (FGCAC). 

Chapter 1 overviews national and regional measures for managing ALDFG. It includes a summary of the relevant regulations and licence conditions, lost and retrieved gear reporting, and additional management measures such as gear-tagging protocols. Chapter 2 indexes ongoing, completed and planned ALDFG projects in Canada. It captures knowledge and assesses national preventive and mitigative efforts. Chapter 3 reviews the solid waste management of fishing gear in Atlantic Canada. It provides a catalogue of the relevant facilities and manufacturers in each region and discusses how recycling mechanisms and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) could potentially be applied in the future. Chapter 4 provides context for the extent of ALDFG in the Maritimes and Gulf regions, capturing local knowledge in order to centralize information. It compares and contrasts issues, challenges and potential solutions in addressing ALDFG between different regions. Each chapter contains specific thematic recommendations, apart from Chapter 2, for which the recommendations are amalgamated and summarized at the end of the report.

This comprehensive report fulfils the need to centralize baseline information on ALDFG on varying scales. It lays the groundwork for moving forward with preventive and mitigative efforts. The data collected in this report will be used by the FGCAC members in ongoing and planned ALDFG projects and highlights avenues for future work on behalf of the Coalition.

The report is summarized in the accompanying infographic below.

You can read the full report below.

This report can be referenced as: Goodman, A. (2020). State of Abandoned, Lost and Discarded Fishing Gear in the Canadian Maritimes (East Coast). Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada. [Report].

This report was funded by WWF-Canada with generous support from Loblaw Companies Limited.


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