Oceana Canada Urges Fisheries and Oceans Canada to Require Targets and Timelines for Fish Stocks Protection

On January 2nd, 2021, the Government of Canada proposed amendments to the Fishery Regulations in an effort to combat low fish stocks.

In 2019 the federal government responded to Canada’s decades-long fishery crisis with amendments to the Fisheries Act that require rebuilding plans for depleted commercial fish stocks. The goal of fisheries management, as set in international agreements and in federal policy, is to bring these populations back to healthy levels. On January 2, 2021, draft regulations were published specifying the Act’s requirements for rebuilding plans and listing the first batch of stocks to which they will apply.

Oceana Canada is concerned that requirements proposed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada on January 2nd, 2021 do not go far enough to protect ocean fish stocks.

As is, these regulations will fail to reverse the ongoing decline in stock health or restore abundance to our fisheries for the long-term benefit of Canada’s fisheries and all who rely on them. However, these gaps can be fixed. 

To unlock Canada’s potential for abundant oceans that benefit the planet and the future of coastal communities, Oceana Canada recommends the following improvements:

• Speed up the process of including all critically depleted stocks; 

• Set a clear target to rebuild stocks to a healthy level;

• Include maximum timelines, informed by best available science, for all targets and milestones. Without timelines, there will be no urgency to rebuild.

You can read more about it here: Oceana Canada Press Release (January 13th, 2021). You can also read about the proposals here: Regulations Amending the Fishery (General) Regulations.