Wednesday November 17, 2021
Financial Post —
Today, Oceana Canada released its fifth annual Fishery Audit , showing that despite significant government commitments and investments, the health of Canada’s wild fish has not improved in the last five years. Fewer than one-third of Canada’s fisheries are considered healthy (30.4 per cent, compared to 34.5 in 2017). Sixteen per cent are in the cautious zone and 17 per cent are in the critical zone. Of the latter, nearly 80 per cent lack the rebuilding plans required under Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) policy that should outline when, how and what is needed to build them back to healthy levels.
In the last half-decade, the federal government has improved transparency in fisheries management, provided new funding for ocean science, completed new national standards for fisheries monitoring and passed an updated Fisheries Act that makes creating rebuilding plans for depleted fisheries the law. Unfortunately, Oceana Canada’s latest Auditshows that DFO has come up short on implementing its policy commitments, and investments have so far yielded few measurable results or major changes in the indicators of good fisheries management.