This is­land; a place of be­long­ing

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION -

Dear edi­tor,

A re­cent study by Amer­i­can sci­en­tists shows that global fish­eries, in­clud­ing those in Canada, can be sus­tained by fol­low­ing a com­mu­nity/fish­ers based co-man­age­ment model. This gives pos­i­tive weight to a num­ber of letters that have been sub­mit­ted to your paper par­tic­u­larly since the an­nounce­ment of a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing ( MOU) process by then fish­eries min­is­ter Tom Hed­der­son in July 2009.

The main point of those letters was that all sec­tors in our fish­ery, in­clud­ing com­mu­ni­ties, fish­ers, sci­en­tists and the fed­eral govern­ment, must join the di­a­logue with a fu­ture vi­sion for the fish­ery — a work­ing plan that will re­store and sus­tain a suc­cess­ful fu­ture re­source.

To this point our pro­vin­cial govern­ment must ex­ert a lead­er­ship to where there has been lit­tle, in par­tic­u­lar hav­ing a stronger in­flu­ence over an in­dus­try that uses the stocks as it’s own prop­erty.

The prov­ince must set an ex­aAm­ple and the poli­cies that will pro­tect and re­store the re­source for the good of all it’s bene­fac­tors; coastal peo­ples, com­mu­ni­ties, all fish­ing sec­tors, our prov­ince and the nation. We must see the fu­ture po­ten­tial of this great re­new­able re­source, work to­ward pro­tect­ing it, and above all work to save it form one of it’s great­est prob­lems: the in­dus­try it­self.

If they took this lead­er­ship role, even to a new Fish­eries Act, it would show Ot­tawa, and our prov­ince, that they mean busi­ness. Is not the rea­son why we have a demo­cratic sys­tem of gov­er­nance in this coun­try to gov­ern for the peo­ple? Truth will al­ways stand on it’s own, shin­ing a bea­con into the fu­ture.

If we can act from truth with the in­ten­tion of do­ing right, we can­not be faulted. The fu­ture would then vin­di­cate our ef­forts, ones based on a sound vi­sion, a fu­ture plan for the fish­ery. A plan which, if fol­lowed, would re­sult in a re­stored multi-species re­source with a re­new­able, pros­per­ous har­vest.

If we con­tinue ap­peas­ing our in­dus­try as we are do­ing now our legacy will be of a for­saken her­itage and our aban­don­ment of it’s fu­ture po­ten­tial for our chil­dren. All this, on our watch, while do­ing noth­ing to stop the fi­nal de­struc­tion of the great­est fish­ery the world has ever known.

Where is the re­silient, self-re­liant char­ac­ter given to us by our sea­far­ing fore­fa­thers? Where is the in­ge­nu­ity and un­daunted spirit of our coastal peo­ple which made us for so long masters of the seven seas and masters of our own destiny?

In the harsh­est of con­di­tions our fore­fa­thers made a home on this bar­ren, rugged coast­line in the only hu­manly way it could be done: with an un­con­di­tioned pas­sion for life. They cre­ated this beau­ti­ful place for them­selves, their chil­dren and their chil­dren’s chil­dren.

Their em­brac­ing spirit res­onates from the grave­yards of the hills that sur­rounds ev­ery har­bour and cove along our shore­line. It is not a res­o­nance of death, it is a res­o­nance of life within us … a spirit that is in­ex­tri­ca­bly en­tan­gled, as one, with the ine­bri­ate North At­lantic that cra­dles, and sur­rounds, us.

To aban­don this spirit and the untamed coastal places of it’s beauty and birth is to aban­don our­selves, our own hearts. If we do noth­ing to stop the tragic de­struc­tion that is now un­fold­ing in our fish­ery we will never have a fu­ture home. We will never again be able to find peace within our hearts.

And yet also, if that hap­pens, at the hands of some who will have gained the world while los­ing their own souls, what good will it do them?

Phil Earle Car­bon­ear

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.