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Canada to host the 2nd International Fishing Gear Innovation Summit in 2025

Press Release

From: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

June 7, 2024

Ottawa, Ontario – The oceans are at the heart of our way of life – they are a source of culture, recreation, economic development and much more, from coast to coast to coast. Ghost gear, that is, abandoned, lost, or discarded fishing gear, can damage marine habitat and pose a threat to marine life, including to endangered species like the North Atlantic right whale. To keep our waters healthy and protect the long-term sustainability of Canada’s multi-billion dollar fishing industry, it is imperative to work with harvesters and other partners to find solutions to prevent  fishing gear loss.

To mark World Oceans Day tomorrow, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced Canada will host the 2nd International Fishing Gear Innovation Summit in February 2025. The two-day event will bring together harvesters, technical experts, other governments, and organizations from around the world to share best practices and discuss innovative tools to prevent the loss of fishing gear and minimize interactions with whales.

The Government of Canada is proud of its record and leadership in the fight against ghost gear, including through the Ghost Gear Fund. It is more important than ever to keep up the momentum, and above all to define the next steps. That is why Minister Lebouthillier also announced consultations in the coming months. These will engage partners, Indigenous communities, and other experts on how Fisheries and Oceans Canada can continue this important collaboration and continue to support projects in the future.

The 2025 International Gear Innovation Summit will be a unique opportunity for harvesters and other experts from around the world to discuss Canada’s successes in preventing marine mammal entanglements, and offering best practices for sustainable fishing gear management.

Quotes

“We know that the success of our oceans is the success of our fisheries, and the reverse is also true. I am proud that Canada is hosting the next International Gear Innovation Summit next year. I am hopeful that we can create and implement effective solutions, thereby ensuring the right balance between protecting marine species and continuing the fishing activities that are crucial to the economy of our coastal communities for future generations.”

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • This summit will build on the successes and challenges following the Gear Innovation Summit  that Canada hosted in February 2020.
  • The International Gear Innovation Summit is just one of Canada’s many international commitments and initiatives to combat lost fishing gear, also known as ghost gear. These include the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Partnership on Plastic Pollution and Marine Litter and the Global Ghost Gear Initiative.
  • The International Gear Innovation Summit is just one of Canada’s many international commitments and initiatives to combat lost fishing gear, also known as ghost gear. These include the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Partnership on Plastic Pollution and Marine Litter and the Global Ghost Gear Initiative.
  • The Government of Canada has invested more than $58.3 million to combat ghost gear through innovation and technology projects to track, find, and retrieve lost fishing gear.
  • Since 2020, the Ghost Gear Fund has supported the retrieval of 36,753 units of gear, accounting for more than 2,244 tonnes of abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear removed from Canada’s waters, as well as 883 km of rope.
  • Canada has also invested more than $20 million to test whale-safe fishing gear, to help prevent marine mammal entanglements.
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada is developing a five-year Strategy for whale safe fishing gear, which will guide the testing and deployment of these fishing gears in Canadian fisheries.

Associated links

Contacts
Jérémy Collard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Jeremy.Collard@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Quebec Region
media.qc@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
418-648-5474

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