Taking an innovative approach to fishing gear: Local projects in Nova Scotia take up the challenge!

Apr 12, 2019

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Ottawa, Ontario - Each year, more than eight million metric tons of plastic end up in the world’s oceans. A major contributor to plastic waste is lost and abandoned fishing gear, also known as ghost gear. Ghost gear is one of the deadliest forms of plastic debris, and has a damaging impact on marine animals like whales and turtles, the coastal and marine environment, and global fishing stocks.
 
The Government of Canada is committed to working with global partners, industry and communities to find real solutions to reduce plastic pollution in our oceans. That is why Fisheries and Oceans Canada has challenged small businesses across Canada to find innovative ways to prevent plastic waste from entering our aquatic environments, to help clean up our oceans and waterways, and to minimize impacts of ghost gear. Through our two plastics challenges, under the Innovative Solutions Canada program, we sought out innovative Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs to develop new technologies.
 
The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced two local Nova Scotia businesses which are among the first to receive grants from Fisheries and Oceans Canada for their innovative solutions to minimize the loss of fishing gear and upcycling or repurposing old fishing gear into useful products.
  • Ashored Innovations Ltd. is receiving a grant of $102,000 to design a low-cost acoustically activated ropeless fishing system and gear tracking system for use in the lobster and crab fisheries. The ropeless system will minimize gear loss and damage by preventing conflict with other gear, vessels and marine life, containing ropes and buoy on the seafloor until released. The gear tracking system will record the deployment and recovery locations of the gear and which pieces are connected together, resulting in a high gear recovery rate.
  • Goodwood Plastic Products Ltd. is receiving a grant of $103,000 to improve properties of plastic wood lumber products by incorporating end-of-life fishing nets and ropes, providing a solution for fishing gear at the end of its lifecycle. The grant will help the company develop a commercial-scale facility capable of recycling fishing nets and ropes into a viable value-added enhanced plastic wood lumber commercial product.
Source : Government Of Canada