in his annual report that the long-term health of Canadian fisheries depends on developing, implementing and closely evaluating plans aimed at sustainability.
better understand trends and to promote sustainable fisheries management,"
federal commissioner Scott Vaughan says in his report. "The availability of fish
cannot be taken for granted."
Vaughan's office didn't audit the federal government's fisheries practices in
his latest report. However, the environment commissioner highlighted a number
of questions that politicians must quickly consider if Canadian fisheries —
which have faced significant challenges in recent years — are to remain
relatively healthy and support communities across the country.
The office focused its efforts on marine fisheries, which includes First
Nations, commercial and recreational users, and conducted the study to identify
the challenges of operating fisheries in a sustainable manner.
The commissioner highlighted some key practices for the federal government to
follow. These include establishing clear, long-term objectives; creating strong
management plans (including determining total catch and how it's allocated);
communicating with Canadians affected; adequately controlling fishing activity;
and evaluating whether federal objectives have been met.
Also, the environmental watchdog urges the government to consider two
different approaches to managing fisheries.
They include an "ecosystem approach" that goes beyond the usual focus on fish
stocks to consider the sustainability of non-targeted species and habitats
affected by fishing, as well as a "precautionary approach" that requires
adopting harvest rules and conservation measures to avoid undesirable
The study also notes several challenges facing fisheries managers, including
the effects of climate change, new certification expectations that seafood is
coming from sustainable fisheries, and an evolving international legal
For example, it notes that most of Atlantic Canada's commercial fishery that
collapsed in the 1990s still hasn't recovered. Moreover, four Atlantic cod
populations remain endangered. On the Pacific Coast, the 2010 sockeye salmon run
in the Fraser River was one of the highest ever recorded, but followed dramatic
declines in previous years.
Canada has recommended that 96 aquatic species be classified as being at
risk, and are listed as such under the Species at Risk Act. An arm's-length
advisory committee has identified a further 88 aquatic species as being at risk,
but they have either not been listed or a decision has not been made.
"Ensuring that a fishery in sustainable requires leadership and well-defined
accountability from all who are responsible for and involved in the fishery,"
"Parliamentarians may wish to ask whether the current legislative and
management framework for fisheries addresses adequately the challenges described
in this study and incorporates the key properties of sustainability."
Read more: http://www.canada.com/Environmental+report+Fisheries+need+focus+sustainability/5852147/story.html#ixzz1gQj3w2bv