New Research Reveals the Real State of Canada’s Fisheries

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We’re excited to announce the launch of a new report on the state of Canada’s fisheries, called Here’s the Catch: How to Restore Abundance to Canada’s Oceans.

Ocean Canada commissioned renowned fisheries scientists Dr. Julia K. Baum and Dr. Susanna D. Fuller to assess the state of Canada’s fisheries. The resulting report represents the most comprehensive and up-to-date public analysis ever conducted on the state of Canada’s fish.

We found that although Canada has a long history and diverse culture that connects us to our vast oceans, our fish populations are still severely depleted. Decades after the cod collapse we still have not recovered our ocean abundance. The report also outlines the extent to which overfishing and decades of poor management practices continue to impact Canada’s fish populations.

Some key findings of this report include:

  • Only 24% of Canada’s fish stocks are considered healthy.
  • The health of 45% of Canada’s fish stocks cannot be determined due to a lack of data.
  • Canada’s seafood industry, although economically prosperous, is dependent on a small number of shellfish species. The lack of diversity makes coastal communities and the Canadian seafood industry vulnerable, as communities could have little to fall back on if these stocks decline.

Now, armed with this information, we need to act. Oceana Canada calls on the government and all Canadians to protect and rebuild our nation’s fisheries and the oceans that support them.


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About Author

Oceana Canada seeks to make our oceans as rich, healthy and abundant as they once were. Canada has the world's longest coastline and is responsible for 2.76 million square kilometers of ocean. This real estate makes Canada one of the world’s major fishing nations, catching 1.1 million metric tons of fish each year, or 1.6 per cent of the world’s wild fish catch by weight, and consistently ranking within the top 25 fish-producing countries in the world. But even with these high yields, Canadian fisheries are performing below their full potential. Fortunately, we know how to fix things. Science-based fishery management – which establishes science-based catch limits, reduces bycatch and protects habitat — is helping the oceans rebound and recover where it is established. Oceana Canada campaigns for national policies that rebuild fisheries and return Canada’s formerly vibrant oceans to health; reduce the harvesting of depleted fisheries; and avoid impacts to other species. We also work to protect key habitat for fish to breed and grow to maturity. Our campaigns address increasing fisheries management transparency and paving the way to recovery for Canada’s depleted fish populations.

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