DFO’S management practices
Indeed, such a national policy has never been adopted.
In 2005, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans compiled a report: “Northern Cod: A Failure of Canadian Fisheries Management.”
The report took DFO to task for failing to recognize “mismanagement” as one of the reasons for the stock collapse. The report also questioned why a recovery plan had not been drawn up, describing DFO’s lack of long-term vision as “astonishing.”
“ The Committee has a clear impression that, from DFO’s perspective, cod is no longer a priority,” read the 2005 standing committee report.
The absence of a national fisheries policy has led to inconsistencies in management approaches across Canada.
The federal Conservative government called an inquiry in 2009 into the decline of sockeye salmon on British Columbia’s Fraser River.
How can the federal government investigate management policies in one end of the country and not the other?
How can there be such a discrepancy from coast to coast to coast?
The northern cod fishery closed in 1992 and has witnessed no recovery for almost 20 years. Again, the question is why? It is time to revisit the issue. Fin Donnelly, Fisheries critic for the federal New Democrats, warns: “our oceans are on the brink of unprecedented mass extinction.”
Newfoundland and Labrador’s population has declined by 80,000 people since the closure of the northern cod fishery. There are no signs of stock recovery. We cannot afford to wait another 20 years. I implore the Office of the Auditor General of Canada to investigate the management practices of DFO in relation to commercial groundfish stocks off Newfoundland and Labrador.
Ryan Cleary, MP St. John’s South-Mount Pearl