Archive for the 'Fisheries' Category
VANCOUVER, B.C. – B.C. fishermen are demanding the federal government take responsibility for the salmon farming industry, and start applying the same rules to the controversial operations as they apply to the commercial fishing sector.
A petition signed by hundreds of fishermen has been sent to Fisheries Minister Gail Shea and Paul Sprout, the Pacific director general of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
The petition notes last month’s B.C. Supreme Court ruling that salmon farms should be regulated by the federal department, not the province as they are now.
“Now that the regulatory agency is supposed to be the federal government, we’re saying that the regulations that apply to the commercial sector should also apply to the farm fish sector,” said Joy Thorkelson, with the United Fishermen and Allied Workers’ Union.
By JENNIFER LASH and BILL WAREHAM
Jennifer Lash is the Executive Director of Living Oceans Society and Bill Wareham is Senior Conservation Specialist, Marine Conservation Program, at David Suzuki Foundation.
VANCOUVER, B.C. – The ocean touches the lives of all Canadians every day.
It produces close to half of the oxygen in the world’s atmosphere. Canadians eat six kilograms of Canadian-caught seafood per capita each year. And our oceans’ resources contribute $23-billion annually to Canada’s economy.
Canadians from Calgary to Toronto benefit from a healthy ocean as much as the residents of Sointula, B.C., and Petty Harbour, Nfld./Lab.
So why, at a time of record surpluses, is the federal government letting the health of our oceans slip away?
Destructive fishing practices such as bottom trawling continue to destroy critical habitat, overfishing threatens the future of our fish stocks, and less than 0.1 per cent of our coastal and ocean environments are protected.
Canada took a progressive step towards caring for our coasts in 1997 when the Oceans Act was passed, enabling the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to manage not just the fish we harvest, but the ocean ecosystem as a whole. Further action in 2002 established the Oceans Strategy, a blueprint for sustainable use of the ocean.
And when Canada’s Oceans Action Plan was ratified in 2005, funds began to flow to Canada’s marine regions, empowering progressive changes in ocean management in the Maritimes, the Arctic, and the Pacific Coast of Canada.
However, this wave of change has slowed to a trickle. The federal government’s approach has significantly slowed progress on realizing an action plan that will ensure conservation of our marine resources.
The federal government’s proposal to establish nine marine protected areas across our three oceans is a good start.
However, the federal government failed to make a commitment to marine management planning processes that could lead to integrated oceans management and ensure all ocean-related activities are conducted in a manner that does not compromise the health of our ocean ecosystems. In short, their approach is the equivalent of setting up nine parks in Canada’s vast forest landscape and allowing the rest to be clear-cut.
Our oceans need a network of marine protected areas designed to conserve the full range and function of Canada’s marine ecosystems. Their choice and location should be based on the knowledge and needs of the people who work and live on our coasts. Our oceans need an ecosystem-based management approach—one that will allow us to harvest resources and realize the benefits provided by our oceans for generations to come. Canada has an Oceans Strategy that could make all this happen if it is actually implemented.
Right now, Canada’s oceans need some leadeship. The federal government failed to show leadership in the 2007 budget when it allocated a meagre $19-million over five years towards ocean conservation and clean water, and surveillance.
Additional funding provided this year gave priority to other issues. Funding for the Oceans Strategy was reduced to a trickle. Without sufficient funding, our oceans cannot be effectively managed. Canadians on every coast have voiced grave concern that the 2007 budget failed our oceans and along with them some of the most abundant and diverse webs of marine life on earth. It also failed the millions of Canadians whose livelihoods depend on healthy oceans.
Over the next few months, the federal government will set its fiscal priorities for the 2008 budget. This is a golden opportunity to invest the necessary funds initiatives that improve the management of our oceans.
To start, a $300 million investment over five years would ensure that Canada’s Oceans Strategy planning initiatives, management reforms and conservation goals can be achieved. The strategy is a good one, but it has languished because of a serious lack of funding and prioritization by government.
In 1997 Canada built an international reputation as a world leader in oceans management. Unfortunately, our reputation is quickly being tarnished as other countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the United States surpass us in implementing their own ocean legislation, policies and management reforms.
A healthy Canada includes healthy oceans. Let’s hope the Prime Minister and his government take corrective action soon. The federal government failed to show leadership in the 2007 budget when it allocated a meagre $19-million over five years towards ocean conservation and clean water, and surveillance. Additional funding provided this year gave priority to other issues. Funding for the Oceans Strategy was reduced to a trickle.
The Minister of Fisheries and many of his colleagues support the Oceans Strategy.
With a record federal surplus of $9-billion in the first six months of 2007, the government has the capacity to do the right thing. All that is lacking is the political will.
The Hill Times
Nearly All Canadians Concerned about State of Fisheries in Canada – Union of Environment Workers Calls on Federal Government to Put More Money into Fisheries Protection and Enhancement
OTTAWA (November 21) – Nearly all Canadians (97%) are concerned about protecting Canada’s natural resources including fisheries and Canadians clearly give that concern priority over two issues at the forefront of the federal government’s agenda – protecting Canada’s sovereignty over the Arctic and maintaining Canadian ownership of large corporations. Moreover, the majority of Canadians say responsibility for the protection of the fisheries belongs to the federal government and that the government should provide more funding to ensure sustainability of this resource.
Part of a recent Leger Marketing survey of Canadians conducted on behalf of the Union of Environment Workers (UEW), a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the results were released on World Fisheries Day to mark the launch of a campaign calling on the federal government to put more money and resources into the monitoring, enforcement and conservation of Canadian fisheries.
via Nick Humphreys, BC Regional Council
- The certainty of spills
- The impossible clean-up
- The local ecology
- Jobs and communities
- Global warming
It looks like the Harper government is going to lift the ban on oil tanker traffic in BC’s inside waters.
The tankers would run through Caamano Sound and up the inlets to Kitimat. The likelihood of a spill are high and the results for the environment, including our salmon resource would be catastrophic.
Read more and sign a petition opposing the lift of the moratorium at www.notankers.ca.
(VANCOUVER) The federal government needs to address the fish habitat protection crisis, demonstrate the will to protect the environment and allow public service professionals to do their jobs.
The funding and management crisis currently paralyzing the Department of Fisheries and Oceans was detailed at a joint press conference held today by the David Suzuki Foundation and the federal Union of Environment Workers.
“We have dedicated members who are being prevented from doing their job of protecting and enhancing Canada’s fish stocks and environment,” said Nick Humphreys, Regional Vice-President, BC/Yukon, Union of Environment Workers.
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