Break out the party hats: it’s time to celebrate a big win for our oceans! Thanks to thousands of Oceana Canada’s supporters, we’ve shined a light on what’s really going on with Canada’s fish.
Making information about fish populations open and accessible to the public is a very important part of good fisheries management. Until today, we were in the dark about how to recover the health of our oceans.
This issue was highlighted this past summer by leading fisheries experts who Oceana Canada commissioned to conduct the most comprehensive and up-to-date public analysis on the state of Canada’s fish. This report concluded that the health of almost half of Canada’s marine fish populations could not be determined due to a lack of data.
Examples of good fisheries management around the world have shown that when governments are open and transparent, swift action can be taken to protect species and rebuild depleted populations. With this in mind, we turned to you to help clear the water.
And you did! More than 4,500 Canadians signed Oceana Canada’s petition calling on the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, to release key fisheries information.
Our voices were heard: At Oceana Canada’s science symposium on October 26, 2016, Minister LeBlanc announced the release of the annual Sustainability Survey for Fisheries. Prior to the release, the public couldn’t determine which fish populations were in most need of rebuilding, nor could they see the tools used by the government to assess their health. This is a big change and marks a historic shift in how Canada can take care of its oceans.
The future of our oceans look a lot brighter, thanks to everyone who helped make this victory possible.
Going forward, academics, the public and non-profit organizations can use this newly released data to see what problems exist in Canada’s fisheries and focus efforts on what areas need recovery. Collectively, we can now hold the government accountable for the future of our oceans and set us all on a path to support sustainable and abundant fisheries. At Oceana Canada, our work is just getting started. We are already busy advocating for Fisheries Act Reform and Fisheries Recovery, and, now armed with this newly released data, we are better position than ever to bring abundance back to Canada’s oceans.