Derelict fishing gear has an unseen and devastating impact on the marine environment. Since 2002 the Northwest Straits Initiative's Derelict Fishing Gear Program, in Washington state, has removed over 4,000 ghost nets and 2,500 derelict crab pots from Puget Sound. In 2011 the Province of BC removed/disabled derelict crab pots and a seine net from North Pender Island, with a reported 1,799 dead and alive animals recovered.
On the southern BC coast, there is currently no ongoing program to remove derelict fishing gear. Cetus Research and Conservation Society would like to become a leader for this work in southern BC waters, working with engaged participants - from fishermen to divers to beachgoers and citizen scientists.
Living Oceans Society is developing a project to remove and safely dispose of derelict gear in northern Vancouver Island waters. Cetus will collaborate with Living Oceans Society to share the results of our research, our experiences and lessons learned, resulting in a cohesive approach to derelict fishing gear removal in the waters around Vancouver Island.