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Tell the Canadian Government to Rebuild Depleted Fish Populations

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Despite significant government commitments and investments in sustainable fisheries, only a quarter of Canada’s fish populations are considered healthy. Economically important crustaceans and ecologically essential forage fish are also declining, making the situation dire.​

Healthy oceans, the planet and our economy need abundant fish populations. Alarmingly, Canada’s wild fish populations are continuing to decline and government action needed to address this and prevent overfishing has stalled right when we need it most.

According to Oceana Canada’s latest Fishery Audit, important data is missing for more than a third of Canada’s fisheries. This makes it difficult or nearly impossible to accurately assess their health or determine how to sustainably manage them. At the current rate, it will take 37 years before Canada has developed plans for rebuilding all critically depleted populations. Are we willing to let fish populations continue to languish in depleted states for nearly 40 more years?!

It’s time for action to rebuild depleted fish populations. Tell the Canadian government that it must sustainably manage Canada’s fisheries for the health of the oceans and for everyone who relies on fishing for their livelihood. Add your name, before it’s too late.

Dear Hon. Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans,

Rebuilding fish populations is good for the environment and the economy, but Oceana Canada’s Fishery Audit 2020 shows that fish populations are depleted and government action to support their rebuilding has stalled. At the current rate, it will take 37 years before Canada has developed plans for rebuilding all our critically depleted populations.  Approximately a quarter of Canada’s fish populations can confidently be considered healthy, and we’re seeing troubling decreases in crustaceans and forage fish. I support rebuilding depleted fish populations and call on the Canadian government to take the following actions:

  • Complete regulations to bring into force the new provisions in the Fisheries Act, including identifying major stocks and requiring targets and timelines for completed rebuilding plans; 
  • Address inconsistencies in catch monitoring by implementing the national Fishery Monitoring Policy introduced in November 2019; and 
  • Develop and implement high-quality rebuilding plans that include targets and timelines for stocks identified in the 2020/21 work plans.

Please prioritize Canada’s oceans and the health of its fish populations and help ensure future generations inherit abundant marine ecosystems full of life.

Add your name, before it’s too late

Learn more about Oceana Canada at: https://oceana.ca/en


Blue Horizon

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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