This survey will explore commercial fishing gear loss in British Columbia (BC), Canada, to understand why commercial fishing gear is lost and to identify high-risk areas for loss.
Lost fishing gear is a global problem causing the entanglement of marine wildlife, degradation of marine habitats, reduction of commercial fishing stocks from ‘ghost fishing’, and vessel navigational hazards. Very little information is known about lost fishing gear in BC, particularly why and where commercial gear becomes lost. This knowledge is important to help resource managers understand how to mitigate lost gear and where to target removal efforts. This survey will gather information from commercial fishers in BC to determine the primary reasons for gear loss for each major commercial gear type and industry, the areas where gear is most likely to be lost, and potential solutions to commercial gear loss. This project is a partnership between the T Buck Suzuki Foundation and the University of Victoria. Results from this survey will be used to help determine gear retrieval sites in BC and fulfill the requirements of a Master’s thesis.
Lost commercial fishing gear is defined for this survey as any commercial fishing gear that is lost, abandoned, or otherwise discarded in the marine environment. This includes small pieces of gear (e.g. a small section of a net, a couple of skates off a longline, etc.) or the entirety of gear (e.g. a whole trap, a string of traps, an entire net, etc.).
This questionnaire will take about 10 minutes of your time. This survey has received ethics clearance from the Human Research Ethics Board of the University of Victoria (ethics # 21-0144). For information about this protect, contact Caitie Frenkel (MSc student, UVic) at [email protected], or Megan Eadie (Director of Innovation, T Buck) at [email protected]. For questions relating to the ethical process of this research you may contact the Human Research Ethics office at 250-472-4545 or via email at [email protected].
By completing and submitting this survey, your free and informed consent is implied, and you are also agreeing for the project to use the information you have provided for this and potential future projects. Responses to this survey will be analyzed to prepare a report of the findings, one or more academic manuscripts and a Master’s thesis. All information provided will be confidential. If you begin the survey, but decide to withdraw, you are free to do so. However, the survey will be anonymous and the results will be aggregated, if you choose to withdraw after completing the survey, we will not be able to remove your data as the survey will not be identifiable.