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CERMIM refines its technique for recovering ghost fishing gear

(Crédit photo: CERMIM)

Îles de la Madeleine

The Centre de recherche sur les milieux insulaires et maritimes (CERMIM) returned to the sea last fall to resume its hunt – or rather its fishing – for ghost gear as part of its LOREVA project.

In about 15 trips aboard the Francis-Éric, the team recovered nearly 9 kilometers of rope and 50 crab traps in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, more than three times the amount recovered in 2021.

The project coordinator and mission leader, Marc-Olivier Massé, says he is « very satisfied » with the significant progress in the efficiency of their maneuvers and equipment.

The team has acquired a new remotely operated underwater robot to guide their trap location phase in Areas 12F and 12 South, he said, noting that their search is based on gear loss reports submitted to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Earlier this month, members of the research center traveled to San Diego, California, to attend the International Ocean Science Fair and meet with industry.

The second component of the LOREVA initiative was funded with $500,000 from DFO and was also supported by FJL Fisheries.

Marc-Olivier Massé added that the team has submitted a funding request to the Department in order to continue the crab gear recovery project next fall.

CERMIM is also in the process of acquiring the equipment used in a longer term perspective, he said.

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