Tuesday, September 27, 2016

‘Compelling’ evidence Canadian fish management ‘dysfunctional’

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans met in St. John’s Monday as part of its study on northern cod. But the same committee ALSO did a report on northern cod 11 years ago.  Find the report here. Nothing had changed since then.

Direct quotes from the 2005 report:

“The Committee has the clear impression that, from DFO’s perspective, cod is no longer a priority. In other words, since the cod have almost vanished, there is no point in studying them anymore.”
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“We believe that the root cause lies in a lack of vision and long-term planning. Not dealing with foreign overfishing, re-opening of the inshore fishery in 1998 at unsustainable levels, and not recognizing sooner the size of the seal herds each contributed to the lack of recovery of the northern cod stocks.”
•••
“While DFO, as the body responsible for managing the fisheries, had the critical role in this disaster, it was often under pressure from fishermen, coastal communities, unions, and politicians to provide opportunities.”
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“In the decades prior to the 1960s, annual catches ranged between 200,000 and 300,000 tonnes. The harvest, mainly by non-Canadian fishing fleets, increased dramatically to over 800,000 tonnes in 1968, but then declined until the mid1970s. Between 1960 and 1975, 8 million tonnes of northern cod was caught, most of it by an estimated 200 factory freezer trawlers operating on the Grand Banks. By comparison, this is the same amount that was caught in the whole of the period between 1500 and 1750.”
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“We believe that there is compelling evidence that the Canadian fisheries management system is dysfunctional, and that the time is now right to seriously consider a fundamental reform.”

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