2023 marked CRS’ first season of bi-coastal operations as a leader on Canada’s largest Ghost Gear Retrieval Project – a collaborative effort to address extensive damage and fishing gear loss resulting from Hurricane Fiona in September of 2022. Alongside partners Scotian Shores, Glooscap Health & Safety, Nova Scotia Nature Trust, First Nation partners, commercial fishers, municipalities and community members, CRS headed monumental shoreline clean-ups and dive operations throughout Nova Scotia - the unceded territory of the Mi'kmaq people.
6,107 Traps Removed
157,302 kgs of Debris Removed
63 Community Members Employed
Thanks to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Ghost Gear Funding, this project enabled the removal of 215+ tonnes of debris, meanwhile building capacity among partners and Indigenous communities. Capacity building ensured that skills remained in place after the project’s conclusion to support the retrieval and responsible disposal of ALDFG (abandoned, lost, or discarded fishing gear) from First Nations’ territorial waters in Atlantic Canada. Serving as a natural aggregator of ALDFG from both domestic and international sources, Maritime and Gulf regions in general, and Nova Scotia in particular, have been heavily impacted by accumulated debris.
While on the surface impacting environmental resources and shared spaces, the severity of accumulation has markedly impeded harvest efforts, hindered commercial and public fisheries, created hazards to navigation, and continues to pose considerable entanglement risk to local and endangered wildlife including the North Atlantic Right Whales (NARWs).
This project mobilized CRS’s established protocols to support regional partners to address the immediate threats from this new ALDFG, while building capacity for ongoing ALDFG initiatives in the Atlantic Region.