For DFO to con­sider...

The Compass - - Editorial - Jeremy Bar­rett writes from Em­bree

Re­cently, in two news ar­ti­cles one printed in The Tele­gram and an­other in the Na­tional Post - con­cern­ing the hunger strike that was be­ing car­ried out by Richard Gillett of FISH-NL, Kevin An­der­son, the re­gional di­rec­tor gen­eral for New­found­land and Labrador with the Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans Canada, made the fol­low­ing state­ment:

“Our fish­eries man­age­ment de­ci­sions are ev­i­dence-based, and their ul­ti­mate goal is to con­serve our im­por­tant public re­sources so that they are avail­able now and for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of Cana­dian fish­ers.”

That sounds like newspeak of the ut­most “1984” type. If fish­eries man­age­ment de­ci­sions are based on sci­en­tific ev­i­dence, and the ul­ti­mate goal is con­ser­va­tion of the species for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, then why are mul­ti­ple com­mer­cial fish­ery species stocks (i.e. crab/ shrimp/sal­mon) at lows never known be­fore to mod­ern man and those par­tic­i­pat­ing in the fish­eries - lows cre­ated un­der Cana­dian fish­eries man­age­ment poli­cies?

How is it that ev­i­dence-based in­formed man­age­ment fish­ery de­ci­sions since the 1990s have left nu­mer­ous species at a crit­i­cal junc­ture now, in which a num­ber of species quo­tas have been slashed due to their stocks around the prov­ince be­ing de­pleted to num­bers that no longer en­able vi­able fish­eries, un­til at least an­other three years? How is it that fish­eries science could jus­tify man­age­ment de­ci­sions that led to the dec­i­ma­tion of most of the com­mer­cial fish­eries around New­found­land?

For the public, make no mis­take, there is much more be­hind fish­ery man­age­ment de­ci­sions than “ev­i­dence” from DFO sci­en­tists, that have time and again led to over­sized al­low­able catches and to the near-de­struc­tion of in­de­pen­dent com­mer­cial fish­eries in and around this prov­ince.

Those claims should be seen for what they are. Un­for­tu­nately, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment newspeak jus­ti­fies the dis­rup­tion and fis­cal hard­ships that many in this prov­ince will ex­pe­ri­ence, at least in the next three years, dis­rup­tions and hard­ships guided and cre­ated un­der the Cana­dian man­age­ment of the com­mer­cial fish­eries in this prov­ince; fi­nan­cial dis­rup­tion and hard­ships that will force many a fisher and plant worker to re­set­tle to an­other prov­ince, los­ing their in­vest­ments in the fish­eries; gov­ern­ment-caused and guided dis­rup­tion and fis­cal hard­ships that are noth­ing other than a “quiet re­set­tle­ment” project un­der the guise of DFO fish­ery science and fish­ery man­age­ment poli­cies.

Mr. An­der­son, you can fool some of the peo­ple some­times, sir, but you can­not fool all the peo­ple all the time. New­found­lan­ders are nei­ther stupid nor blind to fed­eral gov­ern­ment ac­tions in guid­ing mul­ti­ple com­mer­cial fish­eries to the crux of col­lapse in this prov­ince.

“How is it that ev­i­dence­based in­formed man­age­ment fish­ery de­ci­sions since the 1990s have left nu­mer­ous species at a crit­i­cal junc­ture now, in which a num­ber of species quo­tas have been slashed due to their stocks around the prov­ince be­ing de­pleted to num­bers that no longer en­able vi­able fish­eries, un­til at least an­other three years?”

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