Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada logo with a fish icon
Managing end-of-life fishing gear
Finding Long-Term Solutions
for End-of-Life Fishing Gear
About the Project

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.

Project Goal

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 

environmentally responsible

Prioritizes environmentally friendly waste management solutions

Project objectives


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

create program

Work together to create a program for managing lobster traps and fishing rope, starting in Nova Scotia

Progress and how to get involved







released public survey

The FGCAC Project Team is interested in learning about the issues and opportunities related to end-of-life fishing gear - specifically, fishing rope and lobster traps. We invite you to take a 5-minute survey to help us understand how to collect, gather, store, reuse, dispose of, and/or recycle these materials.

formed advisory committee

Formed an advisory committee to provide information and advice, and help create and start an end-of-life fishing gear management program.

Published report titled “End-of-Life Fishing Gear Management in Nova Scotia”

This report sums up the results of a study to understand fishing gear in Nova Scotia: its manufacturing, use in the fishery, and where it ends up when it can no longer be used for fishing.

started research in other provinces

Research on end-of-life fishing gear in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador is ongoing.

For media inquiries please email
environmental specialist & media contact
Project Manager

Marcus Goodick

Project lead

Sonia Smith

Project Lead

Marquita Davis

Project advisor


environmental specialist & media contact

Rachel Kendall


Natalya Dawe

engagement facilitators

Third Sector Enhancement


This project is possible thanks to the financial support of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Sustainable Fisheries Solutions and Retrieval Support Contribution Program (SFSRSCP) and Divert NS.