Friday May 12, 2023


Researchers probing one Canada’s most productive fishing regions have found the area off Nova Scotia’s southern tip is littered with bundles of snarled rope, drifting lobster pots and abandoned buoys that foul the marine environment and take a bite out of the industry’s bottom line.

The team of Dalhousie University scientists worked with the Department of Fisheries, fishing captains, volunteers and different fisheries organizations to search for and retrieve abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) from three fishing zones that stretch from the Bay of Fundy around to Halifax over two years.

Boats towing hooked grapples over a 4,000-square kilometer swath of seafloor hauled in almost 25,000 kilograms of ALDFG—a motley collection of traps, ropes, hooks, cables and other fishing-related equipment that drift through the water column or rest on the ocean bottom.

Team members, who published their findings in Marine Pollution Bulletin, also collected almost 5,000 kilograms of assorted gear from seven shoreline searches. Of this, lobster traps made up 68 percent and dragger cable constituted 12 percent.

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