Coastal Connections – Episode 6 – Ghost Gear

Something is haunting our oceans… and its trapping aquatic species and threatens fishers harvesting operations! In part 2 of our plastic ocean mini-series, we focus on ghost gear: old and damaged fishing lines, traps and aquaculture infrastructures that becomes loose in the ocean and doesn’t stop fishing over time!

So, what’s being done to address this global issue? This episode we find out by revisiting some familiar folks to share community- led ghost gear initiatives from their regions. We will investigate where this gear is coming from, how it is being tracked, where some of the most problematic areas are locally, how the gear can be retrieved, and finally, strategies for preventing ghost gear in the first place!

We are joined by Matt Abbott, the Fundy Baykeeper at Conservation Council of New Brunswick, who will help us navigate this ghastly problem. He has experience working with both of our guests and will contribute to our conversations with Lillian and Melanie about their collaborative initiatives in New Brunswick.

In this episode we heard from:
•Lillian Mitchell from Fundy North Fishermans Association (FNFA)
•Dr. Melanie Wiber from the University of New Brunswick (
•Matt Abott, the Fundy Baykeeper at Conservation Council of New Brunswick.
oConservation Council of New Brunswick-
•Department of Fisheries and Oceans Ghost Gear Fund (
•COJO diving (
•Intervale Associates Inc partners with lobster harvesters to collect bait box liners
•Research by Coastal Action (
•Starting your own ghost gear retrieval program? Here is the FNFA Manual:

Marine Debris and Ghost Gear Products/Souvenirs/DIYs:
•Nature’s Threads
•All For Knot Rope Weaving “Connect with the Sea”
•Recycled Rope ideas

In the news:
•Companies who are trying to change the game
•Reclaimed rope as a hobby:
•Huntsman Marine Science Center Rope Recycling:
•How much garbage are we talking about here?
•Right Whale Entanglement