MP seeks investigation
The following letter was sent to John Weirsema, interim Auditor General of Canada Dear Mr. Weirsema,
I am writing to formally request that the office of the Auditor General of Canada launch an investigation into the management practices of the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in relation to commercial groundfish stocks off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Despite 19 years of commercial fishing moratoria, groundfish stocks such as northern cod and flatfish have failed to recover. In fact, some stocks are in worse condition than they were in the early 1990s when the commercial fisheries were first closed.
What role, if any, have DFO’s management practices played in the failure of groundfish stocks to rejuvenate?
In 1997, the office of the Auditor General of Canada investigated DFO with regard to a sustainable fisheries framework for Atlantic groundfish, with one of the key recommendations being the institution of a national policy for sustainable fisheries.
Such a national policy was never instituted. As the 1997 report highlighted: “Although background papers have been prepared, a national fisheries policy and an action plan have yet to be developed.”
In 2000, the Auditor General’s Office carried out a follow-up report, again highlighting the absence of a national fisheries policy.