FGCAC End-of-life Fishing Gear Management Project
in NS, NB, PE and Southwestern NL

Finding long-term solutions
for end-of-life fishing gear


The FGCAC’s End-of-Life Fishing Gear Management Study, conducted across Canada’s Eastern provinces in 2021, resulted in the publication of highly useful information about the life cycle of fishing gear, but revealed a worrying picture of the region’s marine waste management practices. As a result of the study, numerous barriers to the proper disposal and recycling of fishing waste were identified, and solutions imagined. Armed with a clearer picture of the issues facing harvesters, authorities, and waste management, the FGCAC launched a pilot program aimed at improving disposal, and the processes which follow. This program recycled end-of-life gear and collected data from August of 2022 to March of 2023.

A May 2023 follow-up program, which sees the area of operations expand into Newfoundland, will seek to solidify a more complete list of disposal sites and regional partners. Recycling operations will continue until February of 2024 under the new program, after which point the FGCAC hopes to implement a permanent solution that is well-researched, satisfies stakeholders and rights holders concerns, and provides a financially self-sufficient management program for PVC-coated wire mesh, wire lobster traps, oyster cages, fishing rope and netting.


Wire Lobster Traps

Working with American Iron and Metal (AIM), we are collecting, removing, and recycling traps from personal and commercial property

Rope and Netting

Working with our European
recycling partner Plastix Global, rope will be shipped to facilities which can recycle waste in myriad ways


We will accurately document the environmental, social, and economic results of wire lobster trap removal and recycling

Develop Consensus

Manage fishing and aquaculture waste in a manner that satisfies all stakeholders

Sonia Smith

Project/Stakeholder Manager

Sonia began working with harbour authorities, fishers, small craft harbours, and the aquaculture industry in 2014 when she took over the delivery of the Clean Foundation’s Ship-to-Shore Program. Ship-to-Shore provided education, support, and resources to help harbour authorities across Nova Scotia find better ways to properly manage waste on fishing vessels and wharves. With these partnerships and the support of small craft harbours, the program was successfully delivered for 10 years. Sonia was given the opportunity in 2019 to work with UOMA Atlantic by providing education and resources for the new Used Oil Recycling and Management Program and is now employed with them part-time covering the Maritime Provinces. As a member of the FGCAC, Sonia was also the Project Lead and then Program Manager for the FGCAC End of Life Fishing Gear Management Project, funded under the Sustainable Fisheries Solutions and Retrieval Support Contribution Program. Sonia was the Project Manager for the End-of-life Feasibility Study in the three Maritime provinces which concluded on March 31, 2023

Marquita Davis

Project Manager

Marquita is a PMP® certified Project Manager, with over 10 years of experience leading various for-profit and not-for-profit projects; she has dedicated 5 years to solving ocean waste challenges specifically. She has a Bachelor of Management (major in Environment, Sustainability, and Society) from Dalhousie University. She was one of the key designers and organizers of Clean Foundation’s Clean Ocean Summit, which brought together over 150 Canadian and international change-makers to tackle marine waste challenges. One of the action teams resulting from the summit later developed into the Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada (FGCAC), largely due to the dedication and commitment of Marquita, Sonia, and Krista Beardy. Marquita worked as a Program Manager with Ashored, overseeing partnered projects and managing stakeholder relations with ocean-related non-profits. Marquita has worked as Project Manager and Project Lead for the successful and growing End of Life Fishing Gear Management Project, funded under the Sustainable Fisheries Solutions and Retrieval Support Contribution Program.