GHOST GEAR RECOVERY IN LFA # 33 JULY 2020 to MARCH 2022

“Ghost Gear” makes up a large portion of all marine debris.  It causes significant negative environmental, economic, and social impacts including habitat degradation, indiscriminate fishing and entanglements, decreased catches, at-sea safety hazards, and vessel damage.

This project will work collaboratively with industry, academia, and government to prevent, reduce, and assess impacts of ALDFG on the South Shore of Nova Scotia in Lobster Fishing Area 33 from July 2020 to March 2022.  This will be accomplished through implementing waste management systems for responsible disposal of end-of-life gear and retrieving Ghost Gear from targeted areas.

OBJECTIVES & METHODS:

Engage approximately 40 partners and apply new technologies to help manage Ghost Gear.

Equip 10 harbours in Southwest Nova Scotia with rope disposal bins.

Fishers will complete at-sea retrieval days in Lobster Fishing Area 33 using grapnels.

Divert approximately 2,000 lobster traps and 22 tonnes of rope from high-impact disposal methods.  

Sustane Technologies Inc., located in the Chester area, will be recycling collected rope into diesel fuel and innovative mapping technologies will be used in partnership with Dalhousie’s Oceanography Department and the Ocean Tracking Network to improve the retrieval process by using side-scan sonar technology to clearly identify where lost gear resides on the seafloor.