FGCAC Waste Management Project

Finding long-term solutions
for marine plastic waste


The Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada (FGCAC)’s Waste Management Project is a project based on The Clean Foundation’s Marine Waste Stewardship Toolkit and the highly successful Ship-to-Shore Program. The project aims to provide education modelled after research undertaken by the Clean Foundation and the FGCAC. The program resulting from this initiative will be targeted at the improvement of waste and recycling practices at Harbour Authorities in the Maritime provinces.

Catered for Small Craft Harbours, Harbour Managers, and fish harvesters managing their fishing and personal non-hazardous plastic waste, the initiative will involve the assessment of infrastructural gaps, the barriers to ready access of waste management facilities, and opportunities for the improvement of harbour waste management processes. Through the process of uncovering the issues which lead to plastic waste mismanagement, the initiative is furthering the development of a more sustainable fishing industry on and off Maritime shores. The FGCAC is seeking not only the short-term improvement of the fishing industry, but to help create a long-useful base of knowledge upon which further improvements to capture, cleanup, prevention, and technology may be developed.



Support the proper recycling and responsible disposal of marine waste


Divert recyclable and organic harbour fishing waste from landfills


Improve how non-hazardous waste is managed and disposed


Improve waste management through education

The sustained economic vitality of fishing in NS, NB, and PEI

Maintaining ocean health through the protection of the marine environment

Adherence to environmental stewardship

The cultivation of harbour and community pride

Increased awareness of the fishing industry’s role in environmental stewardship


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.

Krista Beardy

Project Lead

Krista Beardy is a UNB researcher whose work examines the abundance and distribution of microplastics in sediment and invertebrates in intertidal sites in the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. As the Marine Debris Program Coordinator with the Huntsman Marine Science Centre (2017 -2019), Krista secured and managed funds from federal, provincial, municipal and industry sources. She has been the project lead on various plastic studies in both the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence regions. She was responsible for the planning and execution of both field and laboratory components of these studies and was also responsible for data analysis, conference proceedings and writing of the final reports. Krista has presented her research at various conferences including the Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership Conference in both 2018 and 2022.

Alex Robben

Marine Debris and Administrative Coordinator

Alex Robben is a recent graduate of Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. Alex hails from a research and communications-centric background, earning a major in History and a double minor in Geography and Environmental Studies. Prior to joining the FGCAC, Alex worked as a journalist for The Argosy, and as an archivist and interpretive guide for a non-profit museum in Truro, Nova Scotia. In both academia and employment, Alex has been responsible for the communication and preparation of detailed research on topics ranging from invasive species to wetlands management, and foreign policy to regional economic development.


Marine Debris and Administrative Coordinator

Alex Robben - info@fgcac.org

Project Supporters

This project is funded in part by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)
Regional Office of Environmental Coordination