clean oceans

Canadian plastic challenge aims to clean up our oceans

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is looking for Made in Canada innovations from small businesses that will protect our marine environment and wildlife

Do you have an idea that can help clean up our oceans?

If you do, the Government of Canada wants to hear from you.

Ottawa announced this week that it is looking for innovative solutions and is engaging with small businesses to help clean up our oceans and waterways and minimize impacts of ghost gear.

Seven plastics challenges are being launched via the Innovative Solutions Canada program, inviting Canadian small businesses to develop innovative technologies to reduce domestic plastic waste.

“The impacts of marine plastic pollution impacts all of us. It means it will also take all of us to help address it,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

“Through the Innovative Solutions Canada program, we have a unique opportunity to partner with Canadian small businesses to prevent ghost fishing and reduce the devastating effects of plastic debris on our aquatic ecosystems,” he said.

“These partnerships will stimulate cutting-edge solutions that lead to healthy oceans and waterways, while fostering economic prosperity.”

It is estimated that more than eight million metric tons of plastic end up in the oceans each year. These products never actually break down, except into smaller and smaller pieces that endanger marine life, pollute ecosystems and litter our beaches.

Fishing nets and other fishing gear also contain several kinds of plastic, and abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear causes catastrophic impacts on wildlife and marine environments.

This “ghost gear” continues to entangle wildlife for many decades, impacting species at risk and the prosperity of our fisheries.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is specifically looking for Made in Canada innovations that will protect our marine environments and wildlife, and foster sustainable economic prosperity for generations to come.

The following challenges are now open to Canadian businesses for submissions:

Remove and Manage Ghost Fishing Gear and Marine Debris (closes December 13, 2018)
To collect and remove ghost fishing gear and other marine debris from Canada’s oceans and waterways through a technology that can be deployed on existing vessels.

Sustainable Fishing and Aquaculture Gear (closes December 13, 2018)
To prevent ghost fishing and aquatic plastic pollution caused by Canadian fisheries and aquaculture industries by creating new fishing gear and gear technologies.

Recycling of Fiber-Reinforced Plastic (in collaboration with Transport Canada – closes December 12, 2018)

“Plastic waste and marine litter pose a serious threat to oceans and seas that directly support the livelihoods, food security, and economic prosperity of billions of people, said Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport.

Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, said the new program is transforming challenges into opportunities for small businesses— “opportunities to innovate, commercialize and scale up, thereby creating good middle-class jobs for Canadians.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and employ over 8 million hard-working Canadians…I look forward to seeing the sustainable solutions to these challenges,” said Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion

These challenges are part of the Government of Canada’s broader efforts to improve the management of plastics and address ghost gear as a top priority. 


Related Links:

Farmed seafood to grow by 40 percent worldwide: UN

Canadian plastic challenge aims to clean up our oceans

World Bank Announces New Global Fund for Healthy Oceans