Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, May 17, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, May 17, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

A blend of conservation groups and professional fishing organizations will share in a $8.3-million federal fund to help rid the coastal waters of so-called ghost gear, lost or abandoned equipment considered the world’s largest contributor to marine litter.

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight, posing dangers to whales and turtles, the coastal environment and global fishing stocks.

To combat the problem Fisheries and Oceans Canada opened the Sustainable Fisheries Solutions and Retrieval Support Contribution Program, or Ghost Gear Fund, last February and today (July 8) released a list of the 26 project recipients.

READ MORE: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

“The overwhelming interest in the Ghost Gear Fund demonstrates that Canadians share this priority and want to be a part of the solution,” Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan said in a statement.

“The recipients of the fund will make a significant difference domestically, and internationally, as they remove ghost fishing gear from the oceans, recycle or dispose of it responsibly. Most importantly, they are creating tangible solutions to help prevent more plastic from entering our waters in the future.”

The fund will go to 22 projects in Canada, including 10 provincially, and four projects internationally over the next two years.

Each project falls into at least one category of gear retrieval, responsible disposal, acquisition and piloting of available gear technology, and international leadership.

In B.C. the 10 funded projects will be led by seven organizations: BC Shellfish Growers Association, Ecotrust Canada, Emerald Sea Protection Society, Natural Resources Consultants, The Ocean Legacy Foundation, Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association and T Buck Suzuki Foundation.

READ MORE: Canada signs global pact to help rid world’s oceans of abandoned fishing gear

The fund stems from the government’s target of protecting 25 per cent of the Canada’s oceans by 2025.

In 2018 Canada was the 13th nation to join World Animal Protection’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative, an international alliance of nations, companies, and environment groups.

The government noted at the time fishing gear is a far bigger issue to the ocean garbage problem than plastic straws, water bottles and grocery bags, but often flies under the radar as governments and environment groups focus on single-use plastics that will get more attention from businesses and consumers.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: It’s the highway’s fault!

One component of Vision Zero (our current road safety strategy) is highway design.

Moira Mercer spent her summer riding her e-bike around Cowichan Lake and beyond, collecting any empties she found along the way. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan 2020 in review — conclusion

What were your top stories from 2020?

Staff meetings can be difficult when everyone has his own agenda. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Garden additions at request of staff

I’ll sow the catnip in flats on the seed table inside

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: Snowballs fights and dead spiders

Even if it doesn’t end up how we hope, it’s the trying that matters most.

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Most Read