Information for the fishing industry and stakeholders
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The Government of Canada is committed to working with global partners, industry and communities to find real solutions to reduce plastic pollution in our oceans.
In collaboration with our stakeholders, Canada continues to explore new gear technologies and monitoring mechanisms to minimize gear loss and ghost fishing.
The department supports industry efforts to explore fishing technologies and methods that would maintain an active fishing industry while also reducing the risk of marine mammal entanglements. As a part of this support, DFO is working with industry-led pilot projects to test the application of new gear technologies such as ropeless gear. If successful, some of these initiatives could help further reduce the amount of rope in the water, leading to less ghost gear and subsequently lowering the risk of entanglements to whales in the future.
Gear Innovation Summit 2020
The Gear Innovation Summit held in Halifax, Nova Scotia on February 11 and 12, 2020, was a first of its kind in Canada. The purpose was to explore current and emerging whale safe technologies and strategies as well as current and emergent technologies, strategies and programmatic interventions designed to reduce and/or mitigate the risk of abandoned, lost, discarded fishing gear (ALDFG).
Mandatory requirements for commercial fisheries
Since 2020, reporting of lost and retrieval of previously reported lost gear has been mandatory in all Canadian commercial fisheries. This reporting requirement will allow DFO to identify owners of retrieved gear, and coordinate an opportunity for its return to the lawful owner. This information is also used to quantify the extent of abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear in Canadian waters, and to identify priority areas for targeted gear retrieval projects. The additional data on the location, fishery type, and incidence of gear loss, will enable the department to identifying other long term measures to address ghost gear and provide a more robust understanding of the ghost gear issue in Canada.
Commercial reporting of lost and retrieved gear
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