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.
Recipients of the Ghost Gear Fund are groups and associations in British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Outside Canada, funding goes to the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, the Ocean Conservancy Global Ghost Gear Initiative and the Stand Out For Environment Restoration Initiative.
‘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,’ said Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Bernadette Jordan.
‘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.’
Earlier this year Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced that four Canadian small businesses will receive over $2 million in grants to expand their innovative work to minimise plastics pollution by recycling fishing and aquaculture equipment, and by adapting and recycling abandoned fishing gear into useful biodegradable products.