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Ghost Gear Fund

Ghost Gear Fund 2023 - Hurricane Fiona Response

The application period is now closed.

Please report your lost gear as soon as possible so that retrieval efforts can be made and recovered gear can be returned to the owner.

The Ghost Gear Fund encourages Canadians to take actions to reduce plastic in the marine environment. Each year, more than eight million metric tons of plastic end up in the world's oceans. Abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), known as ghost gear, as well as plastic waste from aquaculture, are major contributors to the plastic debris problem. Recent studies indicate that ghost fishing gear may make up to 70% of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight.

The Ghost Gear Fund is supporting 42 projects over two years (2022-2023). All projects fall under at least one of four pillars of activity:

Retrieval: These mark the approximate locations of gear retrieval projects. Click on the marker to learn more about the project.

Ghost gear retrieval

Retrieval projects will identify areas known to have high levels of reported lost fishing gear, and work to remove as much gear from the water as possible. Some retrieval projects will target clean-ups to areas that are known habitat for species at risk. Projects will also seek out areas where the reported lost gear will have a greater impact on the surrounding environment, such as gillnets, pots and traps. Other types of lost gear, including longlines, hook and line, trawls and seines will also be targeted for retrieval.

 

Disposal: These mark the approximate locations of gear disposal projects. Click on the marker to learn more about the project.

Responsible disposal

Disposal projects will work with relevant partners (ports, industry, etc.) to identify and facilitate measures or activities related to the responsible disposal and recycling of ghost gear and end-of-life fishing gear. To reduce the amount of fishing gear ending up in landfills, projects will include:

  • working with recycling and waste facilities
  • identifying transportation and storing options
  • coming up with creative solutions
 
Technology: These mark the approximate locations of gear technology projects. Click on the marker to learn more about the project.

Acquisition and piloting of available technology

These projects encourage the acquisition and/or piloting of market-ready technologies aimed at prevention, reduction, and retrieval of ghost gear. For the fishing industry, this includes:

  • opportunities to pilot market-ready technologies in Canadian fisheries to determine whether it allows for alternative solutions
  • address gaps in current gear used
  • limit impacts on the marine environment (including known habitat for species at risk)
  • whether it is an economically viable option for the industry
 
International leadership: These mark the approximate locations of international leadership projects. Click on the marker to learn more about the project.

International leadership

International projects involve working with a recognized international body or organization to help developing or small island states establish their own sustainable fisheries practices and programs to mitigate the impact of ghost gear. These projects must also fall into at least one of the other three Ghost Gear Fund pillars of activity (retrieval, disposal or technology), and help work towards long-term solutions in the regions where the work will be completed. International hotspots for ghost gear include the Caribbean, South Pacific, and West African coast.

 

Project descriptions

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Recipients
Name Area of work Description Total funding for 2022-2023 Pillars of activity
Aquatic Resources Authority of Panama Panama The aim of this project is to implement a national program for reducing the problem of ghost gear in the Republic of Panama through measures focused on prevention, mitigation, gear marking, and recovery. This inclusive process will involve communities, small-scale fishermen, private companies, and government institutions to enhance knowledge, valorization, and recovery of important fishing zones, contributing to their sustainability through the proper management of marine resources. $100,000.00 International Leadership
Retrieval
Asociación Centroamericana para la Economía, la Salud y el Ambiente (ACEPESA) Costa Rica The project aims to implement a model for the recovery and recycling of ghost gear in a priority area of Costa Rica, which can be replicated in other parts of the country. Asociación Centroamericana para la Economía, la Salud y el Ambiente (ACEPESA) will work with the National Coast Guard Service, which currently recovers ghost gear with available equipment, and with the recycling company IPS, which produces plastic lumber.

The main activities are: the acquisition and adaptation of specialized equipment to facilitate the recovery of ghost gear in safe conditions; construction of a reception point for the gear in a seaport; implementation of a reverse logistics and recycling plan for the recovered materials; and educational and awareness activities for the fishing sector in the project area.
$335,000.00 International Leadership
Retrieval
Association des Pêcheurs Professionnels Crabiers Acadiens, Inc. (APPCA) Gulf of St. Lawrence, NB The Association des Pêcheurs Professionnels Crabiers Acadiens, Inc. (APPCA) is a non-profit organisation of Acadian professional crab fishers based in Shippagan, NB. The APPCA represents 18 captains holding permits for fishing snow crab in Crab Fishing Area 12 in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence and its mandate is to promote a healthy and efficient management of the snow crab fishing industry.

Along with its local partners, including other traditional snow crab fishing associations, Indigenous communities, engineers, and scientists, the main goal of this project is to improve fisheries resource management and sustainability by effectively retrieving ghost gear by using innovative technologies, responsibly disposing of them while lowering the negative effects of ghost gear on the marine ecosystem such as their interactions with the North Atlantic right whales.
$300,000.00 Retrieval
Technology 
Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation (Coastal Action) LFA 33, 34, and 35, NS Coastal Action’s ghost gear project will expand the organization’s previous work (2020-2022) in scope and effort by collaborating with partners to retrieve abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) from at-sea and shoreline environments across Nova Scotia until March 2023. This will be accomplished through fishing industry collaboration, testing retrieval equipment, capacity building and knowledge sharing, promoting responsible end-of-life opportunities, and exploring recycling options for rope in Atlantic Canada. Activities will include retrieving ALDFG from priority areas and hot spots, as well as developing ongoing education and communication campaigns for the fishing industry and the general public. $275,000.00 Retrieval
Disposal 
Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association (CBFHA) Cape Breton, NS The Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association (CBFHA) works with local fish harvesters from Lobster Fishing Area 27 to help identity, locate and retrieve ghost gear. As a result, the association successfully conducted multiple ghost gear retrieval trips in 2020 and 2021. The CBFHA plans to conduct another 15 trips for this project in 2022. These trip locations are determined by the information provided by the harvesters and are usually historical areas of concern or are areas reported as recently lost fishing gear.    $100,000.00 Retrieval
Disposal 
Centre de recherche sur les milieux insulaires et maritimes (CERMIM) Magdalen Islands, QC The Centre de recherche sur les milieux insulaires et Maritimes (CERMIM), in partnership with Pêcheries F.J.L Inc. and Seamor Marine Ltd., will carry out a ghost gear recovery project with a remotely operated underwater robot manufactured on Vancouver Island and equipped with all the elements recommended by CERMIM to optimize the technique of locating and recovering fishing gear at depths varying between 75 and 100 meters. The CERMIM will dismantle the abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) at its laboratory plant for use in future research projects on ALDFG recovery. This national project involving partners from coast to coast will allow us to go even further in the use of the latest technologies for the recovery of ghost gear. $300,000.00 Retrieval
Technology 
Clean Harbours Initiative & Ghost Net Removal. St. Croix Bay, NL Clean Harbours Initiative, with support from International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Canada, will remove and responsibly dispose of ghost gear from the coastline of St. Croix Bay, near Long Harbour, Newfoundland.  St. Croix Bay is a collector bay for marine debris, and in 2021 significant concentrations of ghost gear and fishing-related marine plastic debris were identified in this area. $40,000.00 Retrieval
Disposal 
Coastal Restoration Society (CRS) Salish Sea, BC Targeting the removal of abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) within First Nations territorial waters, this project draws from sites identified via Coastal Restoration Society's (CRS) ‘ALDFG Removal from First Nations Territorial Waters - Phase 1’ project, funded by the 2021-2022 Ghost Gear Fund. Priority sites identified in Clayoquot Sound, Alberni Inlet, and the Southern Salish Sea during Phase 1 will be the primary sites of ALDFG removal operations for Phase 2. Additional ALDFG survey work nested within Phase 2 will be guided by First Nations partners and will prioritize sites of high cultural, food, social and ceremonial importance. Through CRS-developed training and apprenticeship pathways, this project will deliver capacity-building opportunities to partner First Nations in the areas of ALDFG surveying and retrieval, environmental monitoring, remote sensing, remotely operated vehicle (ROV), and drone operation.

*Coastal Restoration Society has been funded up to $600,000.00 to carry out work in three locations; Salish Sea, Clayoquot Sound, and Alberni Inlet, BC.
$600,000.00* Retrieval
Technology 
Coastal Restoration Society (CRS) Clayoquot Sound, BC Targeting the removal of abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) within First Nations territorial waters, this project draws from sites identified via Coastal Restoration Society's (CRS) ‘ALDFG Removal from First Nations Territorial Waters - Phase 1’ project, funded by the 2021-2022 Ghost Gear Fund. Priority sites identified in Clayoquot Sound, Alberni Inlet, and the Southern Salish Sea during Phase 1 will be the primary sites of ALDFG removal operations for Phase 2. Additional ALDFG survey work nested within Phase 2 will be guided by First Nations partners and will prioritize sites of high cultural, food, social and ceremonial importance. Through CRS-developed training and apprenticeship pathways, this project will deliver capacity-building opportunities to partner First Nations in the areas of ALDFG surveying and retrieval, environmental monitoring, remote sensing, remotely operated vehicle (ROV), and drone operation.

*Coastal Restoration Society has been funded up to $600,000.00 to carry out work in three locations; Salish Sea, Clayoquot Sound, and Alberni Inlet, BC.
$600,000.00* Retrieval
Technology 
Coastal Restoration Society (CRS) Alberni Inlet, BC Targeting the removal of abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) within First Nations territorial waters, this project draws from sites identified via Coastal Restoration Society's (CRS) ‘ALDFG Removal from First Nations Territorial Waters - Phase 1’ project, funded by the 2021-2022 Ghost Gear Fund. Priority sites identified in Clayoquot Sound, Alberni Inlet, and the Southern Salish Sea during Phase 1 will be the primary sites of ALDFG removal operations for Phase 2. Additional ALDFG survey work nested within Phase 2 will be guided by First Nations partners and will prioritize sites of high cultural, food, social and ceremonial importance. Through CRS-developed training and apprenticeship pathways, this project will deliver capacity-building opportunities to partner First Nations in the areas of ALDFG surveying and retrieval, environmental monitoring, remote sensing, remotely operated vehicle (ROV), and drone operation.

*Coastal Restoration Society has been funded up to $600,000.00 to carry out work in three locations; Salish Sea, Clayoquot Sound, and Alberni Inlet, BC.
$600,000.00* Retrieval
Technology 
Comité ZIP Côte-Nord du Golfe Sept-Îles, QC The project involves the identification and recovery of lost fishing gear (snow crab pots) in Mingan's coastal waters, with the aim of removing these disturbances from marine mammal habitat. The objective is to probe the presence and recover lost fishing gear in the maritime corridor located between the Mingan Archipelago and the Western Tip of Anticosti Island using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). This project aims to improve recovery capacities and encourage the circular economy of materials. Finally, we aim to implement an action plan that leads to the creation of a round table or a working committee on the recovery and disposal of ghost gear on the North Shore. $200,000.00 Retrieval
Disposal 
Comité ZIP des Îles-de-la-Madeleine Magdalen Islands, QC The project aims to locate, by geolocated underwater camera, and recover ghost gear in areas of high ecological value located on the lobster fishing grounds of the Magdalen Islands. With the participation of local fishermen, areas associated with a high rate of trap losses were identified in order to focus recovery efforts. The recovered gear is then handed over to the fishermen who own them or dismantled, so that their various components can be redirected to the local chains of recycling of the materials. $200,000.00 Retrieval
Technology 
Coopérative des Capitaines Propriétaires de la Gaspésie (ACPG) Crab Fishing Area 12 The purpose of this project is to contribute to the recovery of lost ghost gear in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, specifically in Crab Fishing Area 12 and Groundfish Stock Area 4RST. A wheeled grapple system will be used to recover ghost gear, minimizing impacts on the seabed. Previously, the ACPG carried out 120 days of at-sea retrieval activities, removing  11,443 kg of ghost gear.  $400,000.00 Retrieval
Disposal 
Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) East Asian Countries The Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) will leverage regional mechanisms and networks to guide concerted action on ghost gear in the East Asian Seas. COBSEA will bring together partners such as Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Reef World Foundation, and National Focal Agencies of COBSEA, to harmonize gear marking and demonstrate good practices to encourage national frameworks. In line with the COBSEA Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter, the project aims to prevent and reduce marine litter from ghost gear and mitigate impacts on the environment and coastal communities by demonstrating good practices for replication and awareness raising, supporting successful pilots, and promoting harmonization of gear marking at the regional level. $300,000.00 International Leadership
Retrieval 
CSR GeoSurveys Ltd. Bay of Fundy, NS The LFA 32-33 and LFA 36-37 Survey, Retrieval and Disposal Ghost Gear Project will be planned and managed by CSR GeoSurveys Ltd. The goal of the project is to locate and recover lost lobster fishing equipment in the Maritimes Region. Field operations will also be planned to survey and retrieve legacy gill nets and lobster fishing equipment on “The Wolves Bank” in LFA 37 to support efforts to protect herring spawning grounds. $400,000.00 Retrieval
Technology 
CSR GeoSurveys Ltd. Gulf of St. Lawrence, NB The CFA 12 Survey, Retrieval and Disposal Ghost Gear Project will be planned and managed by CSR GeoSurveys Ltd. The goal of the project is to locate and recover lost crab fishing equipment in the gulf region. The project will be focused on removing ghost gear from sensitive whale habitat areas to support efforts to protect marine mammals in Canadian waters, including the endangered North Atlantic right whale. $425,000.00 Retrieval
Technology 
Emerald Sea Protection Society Queen Charlotte Strait, BC This project focuses on the identification, removal, and disposal of ghost gear from the coastal waters of British Columbia. Our commercially qualified dive teams will survey and recover ghost gear using specialized equipment and local knowledge. Our gear recovery projects include a preliminary environmental impact survey to ensure that gear is recovered in a manner that avoids negative habitat impact.

As an extension of our previous work funded by DFO, our project involves utilizing our expanded capacity to survey the BC coast more effectively for ghost gear and lead recovery initiatives to remediate priority sites. This will lead to the restoration of important natural habitats and have benefits across marine food webs and ecosystems.
$103,810.00 Retrieval
Disposal 
EnviroCulture Consulting Inc Nova Scotia This project is focused on developing a cost-effective long-term industrial scale solution to recycle the large quantities of end-of-life fishing rope and net generated each year in Atlantic Canada. The majority of this material is rope, which is a blend of polypropylene and polyethylene, the two best plastic resins for conversion to synthetic fuel in Sustane Technologies plastics to diesel plant.

EnviroCulture Consulting has partnered with Sustane Technologies to identify and evaluate equipment to efficiently shred 1,500 to 2,000 tonnes of rope and net annually, as well as to then convert the shredded rope fines into an acceptable feedstock for fuel conversion. Sustane will be providing technical and engineering expertise, as well as capital and operating expense analysis.
$175,000.00 Disposal 
Environmental Justice Foundation Thailand The Net Free Seas project (NFS) by the Environmental Justice Foundation was launched in Thailand in 2020 to empower artisanal fishing communities to help protect the oceans from ghost gear. The project facilitates the collection, cleaning, and recycling of discarded fishing nets into lifestyle projects and components for various industrial applications. NFS expanded to Ghana in 2021 and will be piloted in Indonesia in 2022. To date, the project has collected and recycled over 50 tonnes of discarded fishing nets, generating over CAN$20,000 income for participating communities.

With the Ghost Gear Fund, NFS aims to improve and expand its work in Thailand and Indonesia by hosting action-led workshops that bring fisheries agencies and experts in Southeast Asia together to identify region-wide solutions to tackle ghost gear.

*Environmental Justice Foundation ar has been funded up to CAN$77,600.00 to carry out work in two locations; Thailand and Indonesia.
$77,600.00* International Leadership
Disposal 
Environmental Justice Foundation Indonesia The Net Free Seas project (NFS) by the Environmental Justice Foundation was launched in Thailand in 2020 to empower artisanal fishing communities to help protect the oceans from ghost gear. The project facilitates the collection, cleaning, and recycling of discarded fishing nets into lifestyle projects and components for various industrial applications. NFS expanded to Ghana in 2021 and will be piloted in Indonesia in 2022. To date, the project has collected and recycled over 50 tonnes of discarded fishing nets, generating over CAN$20,000 income for participating communities.

With the Ghost Gear Fund, NFS aims to improve and expand its work in Thailand and Indonesia by hosting action-led workshops that bring fisheries agencies and experts in Southeast Asia together to identify region-wide solutions to tackle ghost gear.

*Environmental Justice Foundation ar has been funded up to CAN$77,600.00 to carry out work in two locations; Thailand and Indonesia.
$77,600.00* International Leadership
Disposal 
Fish on the Bay Great Slave Lake, NWT  Situated in the Northwest Territories, just below the Arctic Circle, Great Slave Lake has been the home of intense commercial fishing since the late 1970s. As such, ghost gear can still be found on the shores of the most fished areas and around its capital, Yellowknife. Our team has identified three heavily traveled locations and has grown weary of certain items floating away. Returning these locations to their original state has been a long dream of ours and we would like to thank the Ghost Gear Fund to make this possible. $12,483.00 Retrieval
Disposal 
Fish, Food, and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-UNIFOR) NAFO division 2J, NL The Fish, Food, and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) Ghost Gear Retrieval Project will rely on the knowledge and expertise of its membership in gear retrieval operations, as well as FFAW's own experience in retrieving gear in 2020-2022. Focusing on the southern 2J region of Labrador, priority retrieval areas are based on the experience of FFAW in 2021 in Labrador, where we retrieved more than 8,500 kg of gear. These priority areas include key historical and current cod fishing grounds, and gear removal activities here will contribute to the sustainability of the Northern cod stock and the fishery as a whole. Retrieval will occur using a combination of underwater camera and grapnel. The project will also summarize existing gear disposal options in southern Labrador and build a database of potential disposal options.  $191,743.77 Retrieval
Technology 
Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University (Marine Institute) Newfoundland The goal of this project is to assist in the reduction of lost fishing gear within the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The objectives are to test the technology in Newfoundland waters and promote awareness amongst fishers and other stakeholders of accessible innovative technologies and practices to help reduce the presence of ghost gear. The project will involve collaboration with Resqunit, a private Canadian industry supplier of innovative Ghost Gear technology. If proven successful this innovative technology will be used to  help eliminate lost gear by identifying it even before it become lost.  $100,000.00 Technology 
Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canda (FGCAC) Atlantic Canada Since November 2018, the Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada (FGCAC) has been working to develop sustainable solutions for end-of-life fishing and aquaculture gear and other associated plastic waste materials in Atlantic Canada.

From our baseline data collection in 2020-2021, the FGCAC learned that there is a need for fishing gear waste management in all Atlantic provinces. Based on those learnings the FGCAC designed a collection and recycling program for end-of-life fishing gear. This Feasibility Study Project will confirm and provide a financially self-sufficient waste management program for the commercial fishing and aquaculture industries. In addition, this project will remove 1,000 tonnes of PVC-coated wire mesh, traps, pots, and or cages and 500 tonnes of fishing rope in select coastal communities. By providing 100 percent recovery and recycling of end-of-life fishing gear, this project will minimize the environmental damage caused by improper disposal, while assessing environmental, economic, and social impacts for a permanent solution and encouraging local end markets, entrepreneurship, and local job creation.

*Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada has been funded up to $200,000.00 to carry out work in three locations; Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick.
$200,000.00* Disposal 
Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society Fraser River, BC The Lower Fraser River Ghost Gear Removal Initiative is a collaborative initiative to remove ghost gear from the Fraser River between the lower Fraser River and Yale, BC. This project focuses on working with Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society volunteers, First Nation fishers, anglers, and others, together, to implement this project.
A key element of this project is removal teams collaborating in real-time, on the water, and sharing information, knowledge, and experience. This unique approach of bringing together a crew from across these communities builds relationships, encourages information and knowledge exchange, and fosters a greater understanding of conservation issues on the Fraser River. Removals and surveys will be executed from November 2022 through March 2023, after the active gill net fisheries for salmon close.
$132,000.00 Retrieval
Disposal 
Fundy North Fishermen’s Association LFAs 36 and 37 The main goal of this project is to further expand the capacity, opportunity, and access to recycle and repurpose fishing gear, specifically rope and lobster traps, from Region 4 of New Brunswick and the LFA 36 lobster fishing district. This project also seeks to provide tools to further support ghost gear retrieval efforts in LFA 36, which includes cleanup initiatives targeting derelict aquaculture nets in key fishing areas, expanding community capacity for addressing derelict gear, and expanding ties to recyclers within and outside of NB.

This project will directly address responsible disposal for lobster traps and rope, directly create a positive impact on the environment by retrieving ghost gear and cleaning abandoned aquaculture nets, as well as explore opportunities to further expand repurposing efforts through supporting community-led trap and gear pick-up programs. 
$240,000.00 Retrieval
Disposal 
Great Pacific Ocean Barkley Sound, BC Great Pacific Ocean is dedicated to supporting the research, conservation, and enjoyment of marine ecosystems in coastal British Columbia. We will be retrieving and disposing of abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded fishing gear, including gillnets, crab traps, and sport fishing gear, from the west coast of Vancouver Island. Our team of experienced scientific commercial divers will be conducting salvage dives throughout Barkley Sound to quantify and remove derelict fishing gear from the area in order to protect and preserve local marine ecosystems and resources. $107,000.00 Retrieval
Disposal 
Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute Caribbean Sea This project represents a partnership between the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute and the Global Ghost Gear Initiative with the overall goal of reducing the incidence and impact of ghost gear in the Caribbean. The project provides capacity building and knowledge/technology transfer to the artisanal fishing community and other marine resource users whilst helping to inform practical solutions to ghost gear and provide data on the type and prevalence of ghost gear in the Caribbean.

This is achieved through a cross-sector workshop, supporting fishers in their efforts to reduce ghost gear, additional analysis of ghost gear hotspots; expanding surveys of unoccupied aerial vehicle and artificial intelligence algorithms, and piloting innovative fishing gear and gear-marking techniques to prevent gear loss and facilitate recovery. A fisher-led community education program will also be expanded to help raise awareness on best practices for ghost gear prevention, reduction, and retrieval. 
$175,000.00 International Leadership
Technology 
Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance Fraser River estuary, BC The Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance (LFFA) and Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) will be collaborating on a First Nations driven abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) survey and retrieval program within the Lower Fraser River. The overall goal of this project is to survey, recover, and responsibly recycle and dispose of ALDFG from the mouth of the Lower Fraser River, specifically focusing on crab traps at the mouth of the river. This project will build on existing knowledge and experience with removing ALDFG from the Fraser River and will focus on new locations and gear types. $103,500.00 Retrieval
Disposal 
Malahat Nation Salish Sea, BC The Malahat Nation Ghost Gear Initiative aims to mitigate the ecological impacts of derelict fishing gear in the Salish Sea and provide knowledge to local Indigenous and fishing communities. This project will focus on refining methods for gear surveys and retrieval, with efforts focused in the deep waters of Malahat traditional marine territory.
Malahat Nation will work collaboratively in the ghost gear program to restore and preserve valuable natural resources that Malahat ancestors have cared for since time immemorial.
This project is internationally endorsed as an Ocean Decade Action.

*Malahat received a lump sum of $336,750.00 for three years (2021-2024).
$336,750.00* Retrieval
Disposal 
Marine Thinking Inc. Eastern Nova Scotia The Fishing Gears Tracking, Monitoring, and Retrieval Assistance System: Phase 2 is a modern approach to ghost gear reduction that aims to target and prevent the loss of fishing gear at the source. The system will utilize a network of advanced tagging devices to identify, track, and monitor lobster traps deployed during the fishing season. The system will be able to identify, locate, scan, and retrieve lost lobster traps, and conduct data analysis for lobster trap loss.

Marine Thinking is working with Sma’knis Maritime Safety & Security Inc. to use a modified autonomous survey vessel for the detection of fishing gears determined to be lost by the system. 
$250,000.00 Technology 
Maritime Fishermen's Union Gulf of St. Lawrence, NB This project will work to reduce, and assess impacts of ghost gear in Nova Scotia, in Lobster Fishing Areas 26 and 27. The Maritime Fishermen's Union will be working with Seaforth Geosurveys to map areas and identify the hot spots around the Caribou wharf.

The project goal is to improve fisheries resource management and sustainability by retrieving ghost gear. Our project objectives are to retrieve and collect gear, as well as to document the type and location to improve knowledge on the impact of ghost gear on the marine ecosystem. We aim to create awareness with harvesters on the importance of their stewardship role, responsibility and involvement, through their involvement in mapping, retrieval and disposal efforts.

Through this project the organization will use secured storage areas for gear that can be identified, and unidentifiable and other debris will be responsibly disposed of at local waste management facilities and/or recycled as these opportunities become available.
$320,459.00 Retrieval
Technology 
Miawpukek Horizon Maritime Services Ltd Nova Scotia Miawpukek Horizon Maritime Services intends to undertake the below initiatives in supporting inclusive environmental stewardship for broader identification and recovery scopes of abandoned, lost, and derelict fishing gear:

1. Building Indigenous capacity to participate in the economic opportunity and environmental stewardship of the Ocean Protection Plan through:
a. Trained Miawpukek operators
b. Acquired technology
2. Outfitting the vessel to increase the efficiency and efficacy of survey capacity
3. Increased understanding of areas requiring remediation/removal in the future
$65,000.00 Technology 
Natural Resources Consultants  Gulf of St. Lawrence, NB Natural Resources Consultants will execute a specialty lost fishing gear diver retrieval training on the East Coast in partnership with Cojo Diving, Titan Maritime, and Relyon Nutec. They will continue their partnership with DiveSafe International to provide training for certified divers in British Columbia.

*Natural Resources Consultants received a lump sum of $75,000 (2022-2023) which was divided two locations: Pacific Coast,BC and Gulf of St. Lawrence, NB.
*Natural Resources Consultants received a lump sum of $441,970.90 (2020-2022) which was divided between 3 projects.

$75,000.00* Retrieval 
Natural Resources Consultants  Pacific Coast, BC Natural Resources Consultants will execute a specialty lost fishing gear diver retrieval training on the East Coast in partnership with Cojo Diving, Titan Maritime, and Relyon Nutec. They will continue their partnership with DiveSafe International to provide training for certified divers in British Columbia.

*Natural Resources Consultants received a lump sum of $75,000 (2022-2023) which was divided two locations: Pacific Coast,BC and Gulf of St. Lawrence, NB.
*Natural Resources Consultants received a lump sum of $441,970.90 (2020-2022) which was divided between 3 projects.

$75,000.00* Retrieval 
Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association Newfoundland The Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association is proud to partner with Real-Time Ocean Data Services Ltd. and Sweeney International Marine Corp. to collect ghost gear at sites in Newfoundland and Labrador. The project will remove ghost gear from the areas surrounding decommissioned mussel aquaculture sites which ceased operations in the 1990s.  Materials gathered will be reused or sent for responsible disposal. Project advisory partners are Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Transport Canada, Norlantic Processors and the NL Department of Fisheries Forestry and Agriculture.   $300,000.00 Retrieval
Disposal 
North Shore Mi’kmaq District Council Eel Ground, NB The Anqotum staff will be trained as Advanced Open Water Divers, and as remotely operated vehicle (ROV) operators to conduct ghost gear activities in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Once certified, the team, alongside our partners, COJO Diving Inc. and harvesters from Esgenoopetitj and Natoaganeg First Nations, will survey Lobster Fishing Areas 23 and 25 in search of lost gear. The team will learn about best practices on ghost gear retrieval. Once lost gear has been located, the team will retrieve it. Tagged gear will be returned to Small Craft Harbour and untagged gear will be properly disposed in a designated landfill if not able to be recycled. This new initiative will allow Anqotum to engage more Indigenous harvesters for future collaborative ghost gear projects. $200,000.00 Retrieval
Disposal 
NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) NAFO division 2J, NL The NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) is working to retrieve ghost gear from land base sources (i.e. nets washed ashore, abandoned stages and wharves, and other fishing gear holding facilities) along coastal NuantuKavut within NAFO division 2J. This project aims to reduce fishing mortality of marine species from ghost gear by-catch along the coastal waters in NunatuKavut, by retrieving discarded gear along shorelines and preventing gear from entering the marine system. Information gathered from residents and local fish harvesters will help identify ghost gear targets and guide retrievals $125,000.00 Retrieval
Disposal 
Ocean Conservancy Vanuatu and Solomon Islands The Global Ghost Gear Initiative®, based at Ocean Conservancy, has been working with partners in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands since 2017 to identify and implement sustainable strategies for preventing and recovering lost fishing gear in the region. As a follow-on to the project supported by the 2020-2022 Ghost Gear Fund, this body of work will scale up testing of new gear-tracking technologies and expand an innovative buy-back scheme for end-of-life gear in Vanuatu, while continuing to strengthen local capacity for gear management best practices. $100,000.00 International Leadership
Retrieval 
Petty Harbour Fishermen’s Producer Co-operative Society Petty Harbour, NL Working off the coast of the Eastern Avalon Peninsula, the Petty Harbour Fishermen’s Producer Cooperative has completed two years of ghost gear recovery operations to date. Using fisheries activity data, reported lost gear coordinates and local fisher knowledge, our team employs a fleet of vessels incorporating a single grapnel recovery approach to remove ghost gear from the seabed. In partnership with the Harbour Authority of Petty Harbour, we have recovered and recycled close to 42,000 lbs of traps, pots, rope and net over the course of our two-year project.
In 2022, our team will pilot camera technology paired with our recovery grapnel, in an effort to document our methodology and further develop best practices for this ghost gear recovery approach.
$367,555.00 Retrieval
Technology 
Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association Ltd. Gulf of St. Lawrence, PE This project will promote continued and improved collaboration on ghost gear retrieval efforts in years to come, and use the local fish harvesters' experience and strong knowledge of surrounding waterways to remove as much lost gear from the water as possible. The goal is to create more interest from fishers (especially younger fishers) in the project to guarantee the sustainability of the undertaking. By performing both a pre-season retrieval and a post-season retrieval, the Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association is implementing both preventative measures and responsive measures to actively reduce the risks of ghost gear. This project entails a two-part gear spotting survey, retrieval, underwater remote operating vehicle (ROV) and grapnelling component. $361,561.60 Retrieval
Disposal 
Qikiqtaaluk Corporation NAFO Division 0B The project involves the purchase, integration, training, and piloting of a Canadian high-resolution mapping technology by Qikiqtaaluk Corporation, the Inuit Birthright Organization for Nunavut’s Qikiqtani region, for utilization for ghost gear detection and other mapping/bottom classification activities. Kraken Robotic Systems Inc. will integrate its latest-generation Miniature Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar (MINSAS) technology – The AquaPix® MINSAS-120, which can operate in water depths up to 1,000 m, onto an existing autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) or remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

This project is aligned with Pillar 3 of the Ghost Gear funding program: Acquisition and piloting of currently available innovative gear technology and will provide Qikiqtaaluk Corporation with a leading edge technology for detection of ghost gear in offshore and inshore Arctic waters off of its dedicated inshore research vessel, the Ludy Pudluk.

*Qikiqtaaluk Corporation has been funded up to $634,000.00 to carry out work in three locations; NAFO Divisions 0B, Foxe Basin Nunavut, and Belcher Islands Nunavut.
$634,000.00* Technology 
Qikiqtaaluk Corporation Foxe Basin, Nunavut The project involves the purchase, integration, training, and piloting of a Canadian high-resolution mapping technology by Qikiqtaaluk Corporation, the Inuit Birthright Organization for Nunavut’s Qikiqtani region, for utilization for ghost gear detection and other mapping/bottom classification activities. Kraken Robotic Systems Inc. will integrate its latest-generation Miniature Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar (MINSAS) technology – The AquaPix® MINSAS-120, which can operate in water depths up to 1,000 m, onto an existing autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) or remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

This project is aligned with Pillar 3 of the Ghost Gear funding program: Acquisition and piloting of currently available innovative gear technology and will provide Qikiqtaaluk Corporation with a leading edge technology for detection of ghost gear in offshore and inshore Arctic waters off of its dedicated inshore research vessel, the Ludy Pudluk.

*Qikiqtaaluk Corporation has been funded up to $634,000.00 to carry out work in three locations; NAFO Divisions 0B, Foxe Basin Nunavut, and Belcher Islands Nunavut.
$634,000.00* Technology 
Qikiqtaaluk Corporation Belcher Islands, Nunavut The project involves the purchase, integration, training, and piloting of a Canadian high-resolution mapping technology by Qikiqtaaluk Corporation, the Inuit Birthright Organization for Nunavut’s Qikiqtani region, for utilization for ghost gear detection and other mapping/bottom classification activities. Kraken Robotic Systems Inc. will integrate its latest-generation Miniature Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar (MINSAS) technology – The AquaPix® MINSAS-120, which can operate in water depths up to 1,000 m, onto an existing autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) or remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

This project is aligned with Pillar 3 of the Ghost Gear funding program: Acquisition and piloting of currently available innovative gear technology and will provide Qikiqtaaluk Corporation with a leading edge technology for detection of ghost gear in offshore and inshore Arctic waters off of its dedicated inshore research vessel, the Ludy Pudluk.

*Qikiqtaaluk Corporation has been funded up to $634,000.00 to carry out work in three locations; NAFO Divisions 0B, Foxe Basin Nunavut, and Belcher Islands Nunavut.
$634,000.00* Technology 
Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du sud de la Gaspésie (RPPSG)  Gaspésie, QC The Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du sud de la Gaspésie (RPPSG) want to reduce the environmental impact of the lobster fishery by offering its fishermen a simple, easy and environmentally friendly way to get rid of their old traps. Between 2020 and 2022, the RPPSG's eco-responsible collection and disposal program for end-of-life traps allowed 51 fishermen to bring back more than 10,300 old traps. They have been dismantled and their various components recovered or recycled.

With the support of the Ghost Gear Fund, the RPPSG has undertaken to continue this program during the 2022 season to eliminate and recycle thousands of other traps. In addition to being beneficial to the environment, this initiative raises awareness among fishermen of the importance of integrating the recovery of end-of-life traps into their seasonal activities.
$58,136.00 Disposal 
Rugged Coast Research Society Kyuquot Sound, BC Rugged Coast Research Society (RCRS), in partnerships with the Hesquiaht and Kyuquot/Cheklesahht First Nation communities, will be locating and removing subtidal ghost gear from their traditional territories. Through this project, RCRS will acquire and employ a marine remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to locate the known ghost gear locations and to survey priority areas within Hesquiaht harbour and Kyuquot sound. The subtidal surveys will locate ghost gear, such as crab traps, lines, sunken floats, and any other objects that pose a threat to the marine habitat and sea life. Following the survey work, a skilled team will be employed to collect, remove and transport prioritized ghost gear for disposal and recycling. RCRS will source alternative and creative uses of recovered materials as a part of its responsible disposal.

*Rugged Coast Research Society has been funded up to $198,233.00 to carry out work in two locations; Kyuquot Sound and Hesquiaht Harbour, BC
$198,233.00* Retrieval
Technology 
Rugged Coast Research Society Hesquiaht Harbour, BC Rugged Coast Research Society (RCRS), in partnerships with the Hesquiaht and Kyuquot/Cheklesahht First Nation communities, will be locating and removing subtidal ghost gear from their traditional territories. Through this project, RCRS will acquire and employ a marine remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to locate the known ghost gear locations and to survey priority areas within Hesquiaht harbour and Kyuquot sound. The subtidal surveys will locate ghost gear, such as crab traps, lines, sunken floats, and any other objects that pose a threat to the marine habitat and sea life. Following the survey work, a skilled team will be employed to collect, remove and transport prioritized ghost gear for disposal and recycling. RCRS will source alternative and creative uses of recovered materials as a part of its responsible disposal.

*Rugged Coast Research Society has been funded up to $198,233.00 to carry out work in two locations; Kyuquot Sound and Hesquiaht Harbour, BC
$198,233.00* Retrieval
Technology 
Scotian Shores Shoreline Clean Up & Debris Removal Bay of Fundy, NS Scotian Shores Shoreline Cleanup is planning to conduct land based shoreline cleanups and island based shoreline cleanups to retrieve ghost gear that mostly consists of lobster traps, rope, and other fishing and seafood processing industry plastics.

The focus of land based operations will be in the Bay of Fundy, Digby Neck and Southwest Nova Scotia where the most shoreline debris is washing ashore. Island retrievals will focus on "The Cape", in Southwest Nova Scotia, where lobster traps have washed ashore. The project will aim to collaborate with current seafood harvesters, Harbour Authorities and others involved in the fishing industry.
$75,000.00 Retrieval
Disposal 
The Ocean Legacy Foundation Steveston, BC The Ocean Legacy Foundation (OLF) is excited to continue developing a program to support community partners who are retrieving ghost gear, as well as create a methodology for long-term stewardship of these plastic materials with a transportation and recycling program for responsible disposal. The OLF will build critical capacity to expand existing networks and develop two more formal material collection points, which can adequately contain and manage ghost gear collected from the shoreline, ocean, and marine industrial cleanup. This will include creating an industry-based collection program that engages the fishery and aquaculture sector into a financial model for long-term financial sustainability in managing marine equipment at its end-of-life. $626,767.00 Disposal
Technology 
Torngat Joint Fisheries Board (TJFB) NAFO Divisions 2GH, NL The project will be two components: 1. Develop initiatives to reduce ghost gear, focusing on policy, stewardship, and education in Nunatsiavut. 2. Search and retrieve lost gear in known areas, as well as clean up lost gear in the coastal tidal zone/shoreline.

The Labrador Inuit have an important relationship with the fish, wildlife, and plants around them. This relationship is at the core of the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board’s strategy for stewardship and education. The work of stewardship involves strengthening community values and feelings of responsibility at both the individual and community levels.
$200,000.00 Retrieval
Technology 
Gros Morne Healthy Oceans Inc. Southwestern Newfoundland Atlantic Healthy Oceans Initiative (AHOI) and its partner, Tour Gros Morne (TGM) are collecting, auditing and mapping ghost gear in the coastal and inshore fishing areas of southwestern Newfoundland, hit by record-breaking post-tropical storm Fiona. The gear, stored in fishing sheds that were scooped up by storm surges, has been scattered in the environment, causing further damage ever since. AHOI and TGM are working with organizations to remove 10,000 lbs by March 2023. Salvageable gear will be returned to fishers. AHOI will work with municipalities, artisans and businesses to upcycle, recycle or reuse as much of the remaining material as possible. AHOI will map and research collected gear and identify ways that coastal communities and fish harvesters can prevent lost gear in future events. $75,000.00 Retrieval
Disposal
Homarus Inc. LFA 25 Detecting ghost gear using a side scan sonar combined with an ultra-short baseline (USBL) will give the ability to pinpoint an object of interest within a position of +/- 2m. The object of interest will be then verified with a visual to plan the type of retrieval required. The method of retrieval will be determined once the object is known, so the gear is removed from the marine environment with limited disturbance to the marine ecosystem. $330,660.50 Retrieval
Disposal
Merinov Magdalen Islands, QC Hurricane Fiona generated a broad outpouring of support in the face of significant damage and loss of infrastructure, especially for local fisheries and aquaculture areas in the Maritimes. Since 2019, Merinov has developed techniques for locating and recovering ghost gear with low-impact on the seabed. The goal of the project is to search for and recover lost aquaculture gear or components in two selected areas, in the Magdalen Islands and Nova Scotia. Advanced remote sensing techniques will be used and potential targets will be recovered. Unidentified or end-of-life gear will be reused in various projects in collaboration with the Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada (FGCAC).
*Merinov has been funded up to $350,000.00 to carry out work in two locations; Magdalen Islands and Nova Scotia.
$350,000* Disposal
Merinov Nova Scotia Hurricane Fiona generated a broad outpouring of support in the face of significant damage and loss of infrastructure, especially for local fisheries and aquaculture areas in the Maritimes. Since 2019, Merinov has developed techniques for locating and recovering ghost gear with low-impact on the seabed. The goal of the project is to search for and recover lost aquaculture gear or components in two selected areas, in the Magdalen Islands and Nova Scotia. Advanced remote sensing techniques will be used and potential targets will be recovered. Unidentified or end-of-life gear will be reused in various projects in collaboration with the Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada (FGCAC).
*Merinov has been funded up to $350,000.00 to carry out work in two locations; Magdalen Islands and Nova Scotia.
$350,000* Disposal
Merinov Gaspé, QC

This project aims to eliminate abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear and end-of-life fishing gear through recovery, recycling and reusing by applying a circular economy concept. The objectives are:

  1. To set up a circuit for the routing of ALDFG to the sorting centers
  2. To select and adapt the processes of dismantling, cleaning and separation of the components of ALDFG and storage of the appropriate materials
  3. To integrate the maximum of easily recyclable materials in the existing channels and to test the possibilities of recovering materials that are more difficult to recycle using other approaches (marine grade fuel manufacturing)
  4. To establish a system of traceability. Because of the residual material management issues related to its island environment, the Magdalen Islands are an ideal environment for setting up a process and recovering ALDFG.

Thanks to new funding obtained in 2021, it was possible to include a collection of ALDFG at 3 sites on the Islands. The collection has resulted in the recovery of over 400 lobster cages and several meters of rope that are being dismantled.

$75,000.00 Retrieval
Disposal
Richmond County Inshore Fishermen's Association St. Peter's Bay, NS Extreme storms causing high winds and rough seas are becoming more common and are the main cause of lost fishing gear and marine debris. The Richmond County Inshore Fishermen's Association’s focus for this project is to detect lost/ghost fishing gear and retrieve it from the water allowing the release of live fish from the traps. They will reuse and recycle as much debris, such as traps and rope, as possible. $38,300.00 Retrieval
Disposal
Titan Maritime Ltd. LFA 25 Titan Maritime Ltd. is conducting a four-month project focusing on the removal of ghost gear in Lobster Fishing Area 25 which was lost during hurricane Fiona in September 2022. We will be working with local fish harvesters and utilizing a Remotely operated vehicle (ROV) for retrieval efforts in areas of high concentration of gear. $175,000.00 Retrieval
Technology
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