Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 5:21 EDT

Wilful Blindness from Fisheries and Oceans Canada

March 19, 2013

MATANE, QC, March 19, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ – Fisheries and Oceans Canada
has put back on the table the idea of reintroducing groundfish
trawling, counter to what minister Shea said in 2009. A new
presentation from an officer of the Department was made to participants
in the Groundfish Advisory Committee in Moncton on March 12 and 13

An important question then arises: with administrative decisions (cuts
in services, Employment Insurance) that could be considered
“aggressive” and that affect all workers in the fishing industry in the
Gulf, could it be possible that the government wants to eliminate the
remaining stocks of groundfish to allow the exploitation of listed oil
sites? According to these actions, it is difficult to believe

However, according to a discussion document on policy direction and
principles of the Department, it appears that resource conservation is
the first priority of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. It is written in
this document “conservation means sustainable use that safeguards
ecological processes and genetic diversity for present and future
generations”. The reintroduction of groundfish trawling is therefore
totally at the opposite of the principles that were previously
established by the Department.

Furthermore, several scientific reports show that trawlers, in addition
to destroying the resource, annihilate everything that is in the
seabed, removing any physical structure in their path. The Department
has itself published a report(1) describing the negative consequences of the use of mobile gear fishing.
Another study conducted by de Groot and Lindeboom on behalf of the
International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) also
confirms that trawlers affect species renewal and reduce biotic
structures. This is another example of how the Department is wilfully
blind in this case.

In addition to direct impacts on the seabed, a return of trawlers would
be catastrophic for coastal communities of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In
addition to fishermen and factory workers, the entire population of
these municipalities would suffer. This is why the Office des pecheurs
de fletan du Groenland du Quebec (O.P.F.G.Q.) asks the government to
use common sense and put a definitive end to its reintroduction project
of groundfish trawling.

    (1) Report available in electronic version on Fisheries and Oceans Canada's website.


SOURCE Office des Pecheurs de Fletan du Groenland du Quebec (OPFGQ)

Source: PR Newswire