One word: resettlement.
Only 2010 style.
Pack up the fish this time around and move them to waters off the Maritimes.
The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans is sure to look after the stocks when they’re in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
As far as I can tell the department has only turned its back on the Grand Banks.
•••I’m shaking my head as I type because I can’t believe the news article I read this evening.
And heard discussed on the Fisheries Broadcast.
CBC reported today that DFO is looking at ways to reduce the estimated 300,000 grey seals in the Gulf of St. Lawrence because they’re hurting the recovery of groundfish stocks.
I repeat — because they’re hurting the recovery of groundfish stocks.
I’ll come back to that in a moment.
There are two scenarios contained in the report prepared for DFO by a Halifax consulting firm — both of which would focus on Sable Island, the main breeding ground for great seals.
Either give 15,000 female seals a contraceptive vaccine every year for five years, or shoot 100,000 seals in a year and 120,000 more over the next four years.
The report says both plans would cost about the same — between $20 million and $35 million.
I have no problem with culling the population of Atlantic grey seals.
DFO can fill its boots.
My problem is with the fact that there are almost 7 million harp seals off Newfoundland and Labrador — triple the population in the 1970s — that have been doing monumental damage to perilous groundfish stocks such as northern cod.
Which scientists want to have declared endangered.
And DFO doesn’t lift a finger.
On second thought, maybe the fault is ours for not standing up for our birthright.