Toronto, ON (December 5, 2017) – Fisheries and Oceans Canada has fulfilled a commitment to increased transparency by releasing updated information on the state of Canada’s fisheries. The latest release of the Sustainability Survey for Fisheries now includes an analysis of 170 fish stocks selected for their economic, ecological and cultural importance – an increase from the 159 fish stocks analyzed last year – and provides a year-over-year comparison of how well the government is managing them.
Following recommendations by Oceana Canada and other non-governmental organizations, fisheries scientists and the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, first announced the initial release of the survey last October at Oceana Canada’s science symposium, Rebuilding Abundance: Restoring Canada’s Fisheries for Long-Term Prosperity. Since then, Oceana Canada has been working with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and providing recommendations regarding key information needed.
Oceana Canada’s own Fishery Audit, released this past October, revealed that Canada’s fisheries are in trouble. According to Oceana Canada’s analysis, only one third of stocks are considered healthy and 13 per cent are in critical condition. Further, the health of 36 per cent can’t be determined because there is insufficient information to properly assess them.
“With the latest release of the Sustainability Survey for Fisheries, we have a clearer picture of how our fish populations are doing and Canadians are better able to assess how well the government is following the science,” said Josh Laughren, Executive Director, Oceana Canada. “This continued commitment from Fisheries and Oceans Canada will help all Canadians contribute to building a sustainable fishing industry for the benefit of our communities and the future health of the oceans.”
The government also has a rare opportunity to set Canada on a path to ocean abundance by updating the Fisheries Act currently under review to include the legal duty to rebuild depleted stocks. Implementing Canada’s commitments to transparent, sustainable fisheries management and legally mandating the recovery of depleted fish populations will help build thriving coastal communities, a more vibrant economy and stronger food –and job – security for future generations.
For more information, please contact: Lesley Wilmot, Oceana Canada 416-583-2352, [email protected]
About Oceana Canada
Oceana Canada was established as an independent charity in 2015 and is part of the largest international advocacy group dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Canada has the longest coastline in the world, with an ocean surface area of 7.1 million square kilometres, or 70 per cent of its landmass. Oceana Canada believes that Canada has a national and global obligation to manage our natural resources responsibly and help ensure a sustainable source of protein for the world’s growing population. Oceana Canada works with civil society, academics, fishers, Indigenous Peoples and the federal government to return Canada’s formerly vibrant oceans to health and abundance. By restoring Canada’s oceans, we can strengthen our communities, reap greater economic and nutritional benefits, and protect our future. oceana.ca.