DFO’S man­age­ment practices

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPIN­ION -

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

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