Ottawa, ON – The Government of Canada is working hard to protect our oceans and the marine life they sustain. Lost, abandoned and discarded fishing gear, or ghost gear, can stay in our water for hundreds of years, causing harm to marine mammals, fisheries, and habitats. Through the Ghost Gear Fund, the Government of Canada has been working with industry and other partners to rid our oceans of ghost gear and create new solutions to reduce fishing debris.
Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, announced that Fisheries and Oceans Canada has launched a third call for proposals under the Ghost Gear Fund. The Department will provide up to $10 million in funding under this latest call for proposals, and at least 10 per cent of the funding will go towards projects that are led by Indigenous organizations and communities.
Since 2020, the Ghost Gear Fund has helped remove over 7,300 units of fishing gear from our waters. This amounts to 1,295 tonnes of gear–the equivalent weight of the Canadian Coast Guard’s patrol vessel, the CCGS Cape Roger. The Ghost Gear Fund has also helped remove over 150 km of rope–a length that could stretch from Moncton to Saint John, New Brunswick.
In addition to removal activities, the Ghost Gear Fund also supports projects that support responsible disposal of ghost gear, new technologies to prevent gear loss, and projects to address ghost gear in developing nations.