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Ottawa hands out $8.3 million fund to clean up oceans of “ghost” fishing gear

Photo: Ocean Voyages Institute


OTTAWA, ON – Lost and abandoned fishing gear, or ‘ghost gear,’ is one of the largest contributors to marine litter around the world. It is one of the deadliest forms of plastic debris and poses a serious threat to marine animals like whales and turtles, the coastal and marine environment, and global fishing stocks. To combat this threat, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is funding 26 projects in Canada and around the world to help rid the oceans of this destructive litter.

The $8.3 million Sustainable Fisheries Solutions and Retrieval Support Contribution Program, known as the Ghost Gear Fund will fund 22 projects in Canada and four internationally over the next two years. All projects fall into at least one of four categories: gear retrieval, responsible disposal, acquisition and piloting of available gear technology, and international leadership.

“Fighting plastic pollution a priority for our government. We can’t have a health ocean or a strong blue economy if our waters are severely polluted by plastic.  The overwhelming interest in the Ghost Gear Fund demonstrates that Canadians share this priority and want to be a part of the solution. 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 Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Recipients of the Ghost Gear Fund include:

British Columbia

  • BC Shellfish Growers Association
  • Ecotrust Canada
  • Emerald Sea Protection Society
  • Natural Resources Consultants
  • The Ocean Legacy Foundation
  • Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association
  • T. Buck Suzuki Foundation


  • ACPG Capitaines Propriétaires de la Gaspésie
  • Les Cultures du Large inc.
  • Merinov
  • Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du sud de la Gaspésie

New Brunswick

  • Fundy North Fisherman’s Association
  • Maliseet Nation Conservation Council

Nova Scotia

  • Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association
  • Coastal Action
  • CSR GeoSurveys Ltd.
  • Eastern Nova Scotia Marine Stewardship Society
  • Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Fish, Food, and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-UNIFOR)
  • Petty Harbour Fisherman’s Cooperative


  • Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute
  • Ocean Conservancy (Global Ghost Gear Initiative®)
  • Stand Out For Environment Restoration Initiative