West Coast Derelict Fishing Gear Harms Marine Life


Nets and traps left behind by the fishing industry continue to catch marine life, even when they are inactive.  Fishing tools lost in storms, cut by propellers, or torn off by rocks, found at the bottom of the sea are causing significant problems, not only considering the quantity of  litter left on the ocean floor, but also the impacts derelict gear is having on marine animals. It is an unfortunate end to sea life, has harmful impacts on environmentally sensitive species, and reduces the catch of sport and commercial fisherman.

In a $34,000 pilot project using side-scan sonar, the Ministry of Environment last January detected no fewer than 1,829 crab traps, most of them commercial, within a 5.5-square-kilometre area [in Boundary Bay]…Working with Northwest Straits Initiative¬†of Washington state, the program removed 218 of those traps last February, said ministry spokesman Colin Grewar.

Various groups including Parks Canada, the province of British Columbia, Northwest Straits Initiative and Pacific Coast Collaborative are actively working on projects to clean the ocean all along the Pacific West Coast. [Read full article].

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