Canada builds on success under Ghost Gear Fund with second call for proposals

From: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Ottawa, ON – Lost, abandoned and discarded fishing gear, or ‘ghost gear,’ is one of the largest causes of marine pollution. Canada has made great strides in tackling this problem, both at home and abroad, through the Ghost Gear Fund (Sustainable Fisheries Solutions and Retrieval Support Contribution Program). In 2020, the Ghost Gear Fund helped remove 63 tonnes of ghost gear from Canadian waters, thereby reducing threats to vulnerable fish stocks, marine mammals and vital ecosystems.

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, launched a second call for proposals under the Ghost Gear Fund to support three new priorities:

  • Identification and removal of ghost gear within the Fraser River, British Columbia: The Fraser River is an important breeding ground for wild salmon and other important fish species, but they can get trapped in abandoned gillnets along the river. Removing derelict fishing nets will help support the survival of important Pacific fish stocks, including salmon.
  • Identification and removal of ghost gear in the Gulf of St. Lawrence: The Gulf of St. Lawrence is one of Canada’s most productive fishing areas and is also the summer home of endangered North Atlantic right whales. To support Canada’s measures for preventing right whale entanglements, ghost gear retrieval activities will take place in areas of known gear-loss, and in areas were right whales are known to frequent.
  • Responsible Disposal: As more ghost gear is removed from Canadian waters, greater capacity is needed to dispose of it responsibly. Funding will be allocated to projects that will improve the disposal and recycling of ghost gear and end-of-life fishing gear.
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