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Commercial Fishing

CANADA JOINS OCEAN ALLIANCE

Canada joins ocean alliance as it becomes 13th nation to join the worldwide alliance aimed at ridding our oceans from millions of tonnes of old fishing nets, creels and other gear.

The World Animal Protection’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative is an international alliance of nations, companies, and environment groups dedicated to clearing oceans globally from abandoned fishing gear.

Lost fishing gear is regarded by many as a far bigger issue to the global ocean rubbish problem than plastic waste, particularly as it often to continues to catch fish and shellfish, creating a real hazard for marine life.

Fishing nets make up nearly 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an 80,000 tonne environmental disaster of bits of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and California. The patch is one of five such patches in the world’s oceans and is the largest – more than the size of the whole of the province of Quebec.

“We’re saying this is a critical issue for us to address,” Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in an interview.

Wilkinson added Canada to the alliance in Halifax this week as the federal government played host to G7 environment, energy and fisheries ministers.

The abandoned fishing gear can exist for hundreds of year and travel thousands of kilometers. Washing up on beaches as far away as the UK.

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