The death of a fishery
The fishery in this province primarily involves, or affects, fishers, plantworkers, coastal communities, union, processors, government’s, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, scientists, and, indirectly, all the people of the province and the country.
Every one in the primary group benefits either in their position, or their economic gain from the fishery’s production. Each competes for or against each other, for the rewards that can be obtained from the resource. Those most successful in this fight for ownership will gain more short-term power and control and it’s end result of more wealth.
In a nutshell, this is the commercially, selfcentered attitude that has driven, and dominated our fishery. The pressure this approach has placed on fish stocks is one that no naturally occurring biologically reproducing ecosystem on earth, let alone the fishery, can sustain or survive.
Both the federal and provincial governments have not only permitted this commercial attack on our fish, but use a similar ownership approach in it’s fisheries dealings.
Their behaviour has been responsible for permitting the destruction of what was one of the greatest ocean food chain sources on the earth, the multi-million-tonne groundfish biomass on the continental shelf off Newfoundland and Labrador. One who’s interconnected, beauty and complexity took millions of years to create, all before man was even on this earth. It’s an entangled web of life that is far beyond man’s reach to understand but, sadly, are within his grasp of ignorance, stupidity and greed to destroy.
This is what has caused the failure of our treasured fishery, the loss of our fishers, the loss of half our coastal people and their communities and the loss of a seafaring culture. The signs of the fishery’s future doom are everywhere.
If we continue to over-fish, mismanage, give away and ignore our resource the biomass of this once great protean treasure will go beyond it’s critical levels of sustainability and vanish forever.
Scientists have been warning us of what is happening to the world’s fisheries and our own, and other than a few voices in the wilderness, no one is doing anything to stop the destruction and it’s inevitable outcome. No authority in industry or government is acting to do now, what is necessary and essential, to save the fishery and the industry, which is to protect fish species and the marine ecosystems which sustains them.
Natural events of predation, climate, temperature and currents affect fish species, but man’s predation outweighs all other factors; he alone has the ability to destroy the ocean’s priceless bounty. Man is the custodian of the of earth, he has the ability with one thought, one idea, to destroy the face of the earth. He also has the ability with one right thought, from our government, to save our fishery — which is to save the fish and the ocean from being destroyed by man himself.
But our governments are too absorbed in themselves and don’t understand that we don’t own the earth … instead we are the earth … and what we do to it we do to ourselves.
We need a leader who understands this and will act on it to save the fishery and ourselves.
Phil Earle Carbonear