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

The much-awaited Splash Park opens in Burns Lake

The Splash Park at the Radley Beach Park is finally open for… Continue reading

Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

Granisle receives $4.3 million funding for Wastewater Treatment plant upgrade

The village will finally get to upgrade the 49 years old plant

Spirit North Burns Lake conducting canoe, paddle board camp for indigenous kids

Rachelle van Zanten, the Community Program Director for the Burns Lake area… Continue reading

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

COVID-19 could mean curtains for film and TV extras

Background performers worry they’re being replaced by mannequins on film and TV sets

Laid-off B.C. hotel workers begin hunger strike demanding job protection

Laid-off workers not sure what they’ll do when government support programs end

‘Huckleberry’ the bear killed after B.C. residents admit to leaving garbage out for videos

North Shore Black Bear Society said it was local residents who created a ‘death sentence’ for bear

Researchers find cannabis use in pregnancy linked to greater risk of autism

Researchers caution findings only show association — not cause and effect

Small Manitoba town mourning after well-liked teens killed by tornado

Melita residents feeling profound grief after the deaths of Shayna Barnesky and Carter Tilbury

Most Read