Statement from Josh Laughren, Oceana Canada’s Executive Director regarding today’s Speech from the Throne
Press Release Date: November 23, 2021
Rebuilding a resilient economy was one of the important themes of today’s throne speech, and rightly so. We agree this is the time to rebuild – for everyone. Canada’s oceans can contribute mightily to this agenda: Canada’s ocean economy contributes $32 billion to our GDP and supports millions of Canadians who live, work and visit our coastal communities across the country.
Once a top fishing nation, many of our wild fish populations have been depleted through overfishing to the point where now only a third of all fisheries in Canada are healthy. With the right support, wild fish can be rebuilt, often quickly, providing jobs to coastal communities and sustaining cultures and traditions.
That is why it is vital that the newly elected government immediately deliver on its commitment to implement strong regulations to support the Fisheries Act, making rebuilding depleted fish stocks the law. Fisheries co-management with Indigenous Peoples is a crucial part of reconciliation. Incorporating Indigenous Traditional Knowledge with best scientific practices will be a key component to rebuilding our oceans to abundance.
The federal government must follow through on other commitments to rebuild and maximize the potential of our oceans. Acting to ban harmful plastics this year would be an important step in meeting its net-zero emissions targets, as plastic emits greenhouse gases and contributes significantly to global warming throughout its entire lifecycle: 99 per cent of plastic is made from fossil fuels. Our oceans can’t be resilient if they are choking on plastic pollution.
Canada has the longest coastline in the world, and Canadians want this government to follow through on its commitment to protecting 25 percent of our oceans by 2025.
If we let them, oceans hold tremendous potential to support millions of Canadians, all while helping mitigate some of the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges, including climate change. At Oceana Canada, we deeply believe that rebuilding our oceans to abundance will help Canada become stronger than ever.
We look forward to working with this government to rebuild and restore health, abundance and prosperity to Canada’s oceans, for the long-term benefit of all Canadians.
Contact: Tammy Thorne, Oceana Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org, 437-247-0954