Industry Problems

Whale Entanglements

Current fixed-gear fishing methodologies involve buoys on the ocean surface tethered to traps (or trawls of traps) on the ocean floor, with their tethered ropes close to the surface causing the marine animal entanglements.

North Atlantic Right Whales

140,000 protected marine animals die entangled in fishing gear annually.

83 percent of the North Atlantic Right Whale (NARW) population show scars from fishing gear entanglements.

Over half the population of NARW experience multiple entanglements and ultimately perish from these interactions

Trap Loss & Damage

Lost, discarded, and abandoned fishing gear results in 640,000 tons of ocean waste per year, making it the single largest contributing source to ocean pollution

Ghost Fishing

Traps left behind on the ocean floor can continue to “ghost-fish” for several years.

At current levels, ghost fishing is estimated to kill the equivalent of approximately 4.5 percent of the annual harvest, thus reducing the available catch quotas to accommodate for harvest sustainability.

Whale Entanglements

The Economic Impact

525 fishing grids were closed to fixed gear fishers in Canada as a result of right whale sightings in 2021. With each whale sighting resulting in a closure lasting a minimum of 15 days, the economic loss facing lobster and crab fishers is harsh and growing.

All non-tended, fixed-gear fisheries in Atlantic Canada and Quebec are required to use whalesafe gear by the beginning of the 2023 fishing seasons