Dear Hon. Diane Lebouthillier, 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.