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 fish harvesters 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








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 fish harvesters to take a 10-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.

completed research in other provinces

Reports summarizing end-of-life fishing gear management in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador to be published soon.

engaged with communities and industries

Hosted two rounds of engagement sessions seeking insights and perspectives: The first round was open to all communities and industries with an interest and/or influence in end-of-life fishing gear and the second round was focused for fish harvesters.






For media inquiries please email
project coordinator & media contact
Interim Project Manager

Aaron Stevenson

Project Lead

Marquita Davis

Project lead

Sonia Smith

Project advisor


project & operations coordinator

Rachel Kendall


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.