March 12-14, 2023 | Boston, USA

Joel Baziuk

Joel Baziuk

Associate Director - Global Ghost Gear Initiative c/o Ocean Conservancy


Joel is the Associate Director for the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), a collective impact alliance managed by Ocean Conservancy dedicated to addressing abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) globally. The GGGI brings together NGOs, fishing industry, private sector, academia and governments to build evidence, define best practice and inform policy, and catalyze and replicate sustainable solutions to the ALDFG problem worldwide. The GGGI currently has 125 unique member organizations and is supported by 18 governments and 4 high level affiliates, including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO), the OSPAR Commission, and the European Commission Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (EC DG MARE).

Joel is a National Geographic Explorer in conjunction with a GGGI project in the Myeik Archipelago in Myanmar and has participated in numerous technical working groups concerning lost and abandoned fishing gear including the Responsible Fishing Vessel Scheme Technical Working Group V2; the Aquaculture Stewardship Council Technical Advisory Group – Marine Litter and Gear Management; CEN-CENELEC TG and an IUCN-led working group on development of a position paper on EPR for fishing gear.

Prior to taking on the role of GGGI Associate Director, Joel worked for 20 years in the Canadian fishing industry, 13 of which were as Operations Supervisor for Steveston Harbour Authority, Canada’s largest commercial fishing harbour. During his time at Steveston Harbour, Joel started an end-of-life net recycling program to find a sustainable way to dispose of end-of-life fishing nets. In 3 years, this program managed to recycle some 75,000 kg of end-of-life nets. Joel is also a recipient of the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans Prix d’Excellence (2016) and a 2017 Canada’s Clean50 Honouree in relation to his net recycling work. He is also a past co-Chair for the City of Richmond’s Advisory Committee on the Environment, and a past President of the Harbour Authority Association of British Columbia. 

Joel has made appearances and spoken at numerous international conferences and events including Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) Plastics in Aquaculture webinar (virtual); World Conservation Congress EPR Position Paper panel (virtual); United Nations Development Program (UNDP) webinar series "Let's Talk Plastics – Session 10: Ghost Gear" (virtual); Seafish Fisheries Management and Innovation Group (virtual); Eurocord Circular Design of Rope and Net Technical Committee (virtual); Cordage Institute Technical Committee (virtual); Blue Circular Economy Transforming Waste Fishing Gear into Business Opportunities Online International Conference (virtual); Gear Innovation Summit (Halifax, Nova Scotia); Lighthouse Lofoten (Svolvaer, Norway); Recycling Council of Alberta Annual Meeting (Jasper, Alberta) North Atlantic Seafood Forum (Bergen, Norway); BC Ghost Gear Regional Workshop (Richmond, British Columbia); Harbour Authority Association of BC Annual Meeting (Ucluelet, British Columbia; Vancouver, British Columbia); Global Ghost Gear Initiative Annual Meeting (Bali, Indonesia; Bangkok, Thailand; Miami, Florida; London, UK); Klosters Forum (Klosters, Switzerland); the Circular Ocean Innovation Competition (remote judge); Cordage Institute Annual Meeting (San Diego, USA); Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism Annual Meeting (Little Bay, Montserrat); SeaWeb Seafood Sustainability Summit (Bangkok, Thailand; Seattle, Washington); the Coast Waste Management Association Annual Meeting (Victoria, British Columbia); and the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Vancouver, British Columbia).

All presentations by Joel Baziuk

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