Victory: Canada now has a modernized Fisheries Act, making rebuilding fish populations the law. 


Oceana Canada is working to rebuild abundance in Canada’s fisheries. In the 1950s, Canada had the seventh most productive wild fishery in the world. Today, we have dropped to 21st place. By consistently implementing internationally proven principles of fisheries management, we can recover our threatened fish populations.

To accomplish this, Oceana Canada’s campaigns address significant barriers to fisheries recovery, tackling issues that offer the greatest potential to restore Canada’s depleted fish populations within our lifetime. Find out more about how we can recover Canada’s fisheries by exploring our campaigns for reducing bycatchmodernizing the Fisheries Act, ending the shark fin trade and protecting habitat.

Oceans of Opportunity: The Economic Case for Rebuilding Northern Cod

An Oceana Canada-commissioned study, Oceans of Opportunity: The economic case for rebuilding northern cod, found that a healthy northern cod fishery could provide 16 times more jobs and five times more economic value than what its worth today. With low fishing pressure and favourable environmental conditions, the fishery could recover in as few as 11 years, supporting 26,000 jobs and increasing in value to $233 million in today’s dollars. This study shows that the long-term potential of this fishery vastly outweighs the limited returns we might get from it now. The good news is that northern cod has tremendous potential to bounce back to healthy levels and support a lucrative, sustainable fishery.

Oceana Canada is calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to set a quota and implement a rebuilding plan that supports recovering the population and allowing the fishery to achieve its full potential.

Read Oceans of Opportunity: The economic case for rebuilding northern cod here

Fishery Audit 2018

Oceana Canada’s annual Fishery Audit reports on the state of fish stocks and tracks progress on how well the government is meeting its policy and management commitments. This year’s report, Fishery Audit 2018, reveals that recent investments made in federal fisheries science capacity have not yet yielded measurable change in fisheries management or stock health. Key findings from the report include: 

  • Only 34 per cent of Canada’s fish stocks are known to be healthy

  • Just over 13 per cent of stocks, including the iconic Northern cod, are critically depleted, requiring immediate action from the government to rebuild them

  • Of the 26 critically depleted stocks, only three have rebuilding plans in place and all three plans do not include the recommended content based on global best practices

  • 37 per cent of Canada’s most important fisheries lack sufficient information to properly determine their health

Find our more about Canada's fisheries at