Re­searcher talks about state of St. Lawrence cod dur­ing Coastal Mat­ters ses­sion in Cor­ner Brook

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - Editorial - BY DIANE CROCKER www.gulf­ diane.crocker@thewest­ern­

Pe­ter Clancy has been in the Mar­itimes for 35 years and for a long time avoided re­search on the fish­ery.

“Be­cause there was so many good po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tists al­ready do­ing that work. It’s very well cov­ered and very com­plex,” said the se­nior re­search pro­fes­sor at St.

Fran­cis Xavier Uni­ver­sity in Antigo­nish,

N. S. be­fore speak­ing at an

ACAP Hum­ber

Arm Coastal Clancy Mat­ters ses­sion at Gren­fell Cam­pus in Cor­ner Brook on Thurs­day. About 24 peo­ple at­tended the ses­sion.

Clancy said his re­search has pri­mar­ily been in the forestry, wildlife, off­shore pe­tro­leum and other re­sources with a fo­cus on nat­u­ral re­sources man­age­ment and the pol­i­tics of man­age­ment.

He fi­nally tack­les the fish­ery in the pa­per “Cod at the Fish­eries — En­vi­ron­ment In­ter­face: Man­aged Re­cov­ery or Species at Risk?”

The pa­per is part of a big­ger pro­ject — En­vi­ron­men­tal Gov­er­nance in the Gulf of St. Lawrence — that he is work­ing on with Mario Levesque, as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at Mount Al­li­son Uni­ver­sity in Sackville, N. B. Levesque was a for­mer pro­fes­sor at Gren­fell Cam­pus. The pro­ject is now in its fourth year.

Look­ing at the Gulf of St. Lawrence they ask what kind of pol­icy fields in­volve an en­vi­ron­men­tal com­po­nent, and look at eight-10 sub­sec­tors with the fish­ery be­ing one.

He said his talk would be about a case within a case.

“It asks about the de­bates that have taken place whether At­lantic cod in their de­pleted con­di­tion qual­ify as a species at risk.”

He said the ques­tion has caused a very in­ter­est­ing de­bate in fed­eral pol­icy cir­cles and to some de­gree among the prov­inces and in­ter­est groups.

The study fo­cuses on the north­ern and south­ern Gulf pop­u­la­tions, and Clancy said the dam­age was done be­fore 1992. In the nearly 30 years since, he said, it doesn’t look like much has im­proved.

“I think at this point in time the science points to the fact that in the Gulf there has not been much of a come­back.”

The mes­sage com­ing out of the science is that cod in the Gulf is stuck at a very de­pleted level.

The work Clancy and Levesque are do­ing will form part of a book they are writ­ing on en­vi­ron­men­tal gov­er­nance in the Gulf.

He said they hope it will draw a lot more at­ten­tion to the Gulf of St. Lawrence as an aquatic re­gion, that it will trig­ger new dis­cus­sions about best man­age­ment prac­tices in the Gulf and build pub­lic aware­ness that the Gulf as a whole is worth manag­ing.

Levesque will speak at next month’s Coastal Mat­ters ses­sion at the uni­ver­sity on Oct. 17. His topic will be En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­sid­er­a­tions, De­ci­sion-Mak­ing and Gulf of St. Lawrence In­fra­struc­ture.

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