The Government of Canada has announced that it will be allocating $8.3 million to helping fisheries across the country, including several around Vancouver Island, clean up the oceans from harmful waste.
According to the federal government, lost and abandoned fishing gear – known as ‘ghost gear’ – is a big contributor to marine litter in our oceans.
The Ghost Gear Fund will come through the Sustainable Fisheries Solutions and Retrieval Support Contribution Program, funding 26 total projects over the next two years in an effort to “help rid the oceans of this destructive litter.”
In a press release from the government, it claims ghost gear is “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.”
Multiple fisheries and organizations in the Vancouver Island area will be receiving funding:
- BC Shellfish Growers Association – Comox
- Ecotrust Canada – Kunghit Island
- Emerald Sea Protection Society – Salish Sea
- Natural Resources Consultants – Salish Sea, Haida Gwaii, Queen Charlotte Sound
- The Ocean Legacy Foundation – Tofino
- Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association – Nanaimo
The government funding for these institutions will go towards gear retrieval, responsible disposal, and acquisition and piloting of available gear technology.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada adds that this is a step towards its goal of protecting 25 percent of our oceans by 2025.