MP seeks in­ves­ti­ga­tion

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION -

Dear edi­tor,

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.

Why?

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.

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