Oceana Canada’s annual Fishery Audit reports on the state of fish stocks and tracks progress on how well the government is meeting its policy and management commitments. The 2020 Fishery Audit shows that Canada’s fisheries are continuing to decline despite significant commitments and investments by the federal government to rebuild them.

The number of healthy fish populations has decreased by almost eight percentage points since Oceana Canada released its first Fishery Audit in 2017. Making matters worse, no comprehensive or meaningful rebuilding plans – crucial prerequisites to rebuilding collapsed populations – were released last year. At this rate it will be 37 years before all critically depleted populations have a plan to rebuild them back to healthy levels, assuming new ones are not added to the list. 

Canada has an opportunity to think about the future we want and need as we set a path to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Failure to act now means losing out on the massive long-term potential of the original blue economy, wild fish, to support our planet.

Add your name to help call on the Canadian government to rebuild Canada’s fish populations >> 



Victory: Canada now has a modernized Fisheries Act, making rebuilding fish populations the law. 

Oceana Canada is working to rebuild abundance in Canada’s fisheries. In the 1950s, Canada had the seventh most productive wild fishery in the world. Today, we have dropped to 21st place. By consistently implementing internationally proven principles of fisheries management, we can recover our threatened fish populations.

To accomplish this, Oceana Canada’s campaigns address significant barriers to fisheries recovery, tackling issues that offer the greatest potential to restore Canada’s depleted fish populations within our lifetime.

Oceans of Opportunity: The Economic Case for Rebuilding Northern Cod

An Oceana Canada-commissioned study, Oceans of Opportunity: The economic case for rebuilding northern cod, found that a healthy northern cod fishery could provide 16 times more jobs and five times more economic value than what its worth today. With low fishing pressure and favourable environmental conditions, the fishery could recover in as few as 11 years, supporting 26,000 jobs and increasing in value to $233 million in today’s dollars. This study shows that the long-term potential of this fishery vastly outweighs the limited returns we might get from it now. The good news is that northern cod has tremendous potential to bounce back to healthy levels and support a lucrative, sustainable fishery.

Oceana Canada is calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to set a quota and implement a rebuilding plan that supports recovering the population and allowing the fishery to achieve its full potential.

Read Oceans of Opportunity: The economic case for rebuilding northern cod here