Commercial fisheries (sea and freshwater) play an important role in Atlantic Canada’s economy, employing close to 33,000 people, generating $3.2 billion in 2018 and supporting 1,000 rural communities.
Atlantic Canadian and eastern Quebec fisheries need to use large amounts of fishing gear (e.g. rope, lobster traps, crab pots, nets, etc.) to fish safely and successfully. When this gear is no longer safe and/or useful for fishing, due to damage or wear and tear, it becomes what is known as “end-of-life fishing gear”. Not all fishers can easily dispose or recycle their end-of-life fishing gear, as there is no single, consistent, environmentally friendly system in place to recycle or repurpose different kinds of end-of-life fishing gear.
Our East Coast Ghost Gear report recommended further research to find solutions for end-of-life fishing gear. To investigate such solutions, the Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada (FGCAC) is receiving primary financial support from Fisheries and Oceans Canada from July 1, 2020 to March 31st, 2022.
Design and create a management (recycle or repurposing) program for end-of-life fishing gear that is:
Provides convenient collection sites for end-of-life fishing gear
Develops a long-term, self-sufficient waste management program
Prioritizes environmentally friendly waste management solutions
To understand the challenges, opportunities, and opinions of a management program for end-of-life fishing gear
To seek out and involve communities and industries that may have interest and/or influence in end-of-life fishing gear
Work together to create a program for managing lobster traps and fishing rope, starting in Nova Scotia