As part of the $300 million Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund, the Government of Canada is funding efforts to retrieve, return, and dispose of marine litter.
Hurricane Fiona has had a devastating effect on communities across Atlantic Canada and Eastern Quebec. Houses and buildings have been severely damaged and destroyed, as well as small craft harbours that are critical to fisheries and coastal communities.
Extreme weather is a major cause of lost fishing gear, known as ghost gear (such as nets, line, rope, traps, pots, and floats), and Fiona has caused a lot of this fishing gear to be lost in the Atlantic Ocean. This lost fishing gear costs money for fish harvesters to replace, and is also a severe threat to the marine environment.
The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Joyce Murray, announced that up to $28.4 million will be available specifically for Hurricane Fiona ocean cleanup activities in a new call for proposals through the Ghost Gear Fund. This is in addition to the immediate funding of up to $1.5 million that supports 11 partners for cleanup this fall in areas hit by the storm.
Any fishing gear that is found and can still be used by its original owner will be returned. Removing it from our oceans and coasts reduces the economic hardship to fish harvesters and supports healthier and safer waters.
More information on how to apply can be found at Canada.ca/ghost-gear. Proposals must be submitted by December 19, at 23:59 PST. The funding will be available for projects in areas directly impacted by Hurricane Fiona from April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024.
Fish harvesters can report their lost gear, including fishing gear lost due to Hurricane Fiona.