Report | February, 2021
Comments on the Proposed Regulations Amending the Fishery Regulations
The need to rebuild our fisheries has never been greater. The passage of new rebuilding statutes in the Fisheries Act hold the promise of a brighter future for Canada’s fisheries. Now is the time to deliver on that promise. The development of the rebuilding regulations is a rare opportunity for Canada to correct the historic mistake of overfishing, made by so many nations, that continues to cause enormous hardship to people in coastal communities. As currently written, the rebuilding regulations do not provide the clear direction that experience in other nations shows is necessary to allow stocks a chance to rebuild.
Oceana Canada urges Fisheries and Oceans to make the following changes to ensure the regulations appropriately support the intent and content of the rebuilding provisions of the Fisheries Act and bring Canada’s fishing regulations into line with other major fishing nations:
- For the purposes of Section 6.1 of the Act, define “the level necessary to promote the sustainability of the stock” as that which can support at least 80 per cent of “maximum sustainable yield” or a reasonable proxy;
- Similarly, the target for rebuilding plans in section 70 (e) should be that which can produce maximum sustainable yield or a reasonable proxy. The measurable objectives should at the least require rebuilding the stock above the LRP with high probability;
- The timeline for rebuilding a stock should be set as no more than twice the time estimated as required to rebuild the stock with no directed fishing;
- Make reviews on progress in meeting plan objectives publicly available; and
- Add all “critical zone” stocks to the list of Major Fish Stocks, as identified in the most recent Sustainable Survey for Fisheries.