The death of a fish­ery


Dear edi­tor,

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

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