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More regulations needed for discarded fishing gear, Ecology Action Centre says

Policy director Mark Butler says extended producer responsibility needs be applied to fishing gear as well
061119-net-buoy-fishing gear-whale entanglement-AdobeStock_70109406
(stock photo)

The Ecology Action Centre says it supports the federal government's ban on single-use plastics, but still thinks it needs to go further.

Policy director Mark Butler believes there needs to be more regulations in the fishing industry.

Butler's comments come after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a plan on Monday to eliminate single-use plastics as early as 2021.

Butler told NEWS 95.7 extended producer responsibility needs to apply to fishing gear as well. 

"Part of the challenge is that if you have a lot of waste gear, there aren't a lot of facilities in harbours around Atlantic Canada to take care of that," he said. "It's really on the fishermen to do that."

"I think it should be a shared responsibility where the rope manufacturers and the people who sell the fishing gear should take it back when the fishermen are finished with it."

Meantime, Sigrid Kuehnemund, WWF Canada's Ocean Conservation VP, said they're pleased with the federal government's announcement, but agrees more needs to be done to address fishing gear.

"We also need to look at ways to clean up the fishing gear, store the fishing gear and process the gear when it is retreived," she said. "There are efforts underway and we do need to look more into ghost gear."


Chris Halef

About the Author: Chris Halef

Chris is a reporter for and NEWS 95.7. In 2018, he won the RTDNA Dave Rogers Award for best short feature.
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