The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada is working hard to protect oceans throughout British Columbia by removing harmful waste.

It’s funding seven projects throughout B.C through the $8.3 million Sustainable Fisheries Solutions and Retrieval Support Contribution Program, also known as the ‘Ghost Gear Fund’.

The initiative focuses on removing lost and abandoned fishing gear, as it is one of the largest contributors to marine litter around the world. It is also one of the deadliest forms of plastic debris and poses a serious danger to marine animals like whales and turtles, the coastal and marine environment, and global fishing stocks.

All projects in the program have to fall into at least one of four categories: gear retrieval, responsible disposal, acquisition and piloting of available gear technology, and international leadership. 

Recipients of the Ghost Gear Fund in British Columbia include:

  • The BC Shellfish Growers Association in Comox
  • Emerald Sea Protection Society throughout the Salish Sea
  • Natural Resources Consultants in the Salish Sea, Haida Gwaii and Queen Charlotte Sound
  • The Ocean Legacy Foundation in Powell River and Tofino 
  • Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association in Nanaimo
  • T Buck Suzuki Foundation in Vancouver
  • Ecotrust Canada on Kunghit Island

“Fighting plastic pollution a priority for our government. We can’t have a healthy ocean or a strong blue economy if our waters are severely polluted by plastic,” explained The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

 “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.”

To learn more about each of the individual projects throughout B.C, click here.