Since Oceana Canada’s founding more than five years ago, we’ve been calling for better laws to stop the perpetual overfishing this country has experienced for decades. In 2019, we celebrated a big step forward with an amended Fisheries Act. For the first time since the Act came into existence in 1868, rebuilding plans are now required for depleted fish populations. The law can’t stand on its own though – it needs regulations that put it into effect. These regulations must include rebuilding plans that set aggressive timelines and targets for rebuilding depleted fisheries to healthy levels.
However, the first draft of these regulations have been released, and tragically, they risk undoing the intention and purpose of the amended Fisheries Act. As they are currently written, they will fail to reverse the ongoing decline of fish populations. We can and must stop the chronic overfishing and depletion of our fish stocks. The government needs to know that people across this country want healthy, abundant oceans.
You may not be a fisheries expert or a legal scholar, but as someone who lives in Canada, you do have a say in how fish populations off our coasts are managed. Coastal communities, the fishing industry and our oceans depend on healthy, rebuilt fish populations – and Canada must follow best practices to be able to tap into sustainable seafood markets around the world. Together, we can stand up and demand that the federal government stops decades of overfishing and mismanagement.
Join us in urging Fisheries and Oceans Canada to create a future for our fisheries by strengthen the Fisheries Act rebuilding regulations. Tell the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans that you care about healthy oceans and that you want them to be full of fish.