Big strides in the fishery

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Dear Editor,

Canada has the longest coastline and arguably the best seafood products in the world, but we are time and again being out-performed by smaller countries with less access to the resource.

I have been the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans for only nine months, but I have met with over 300 individuals and stakeholder groups to get a sense of how things are running with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and there has been one consistent demand: everyone is demanding change in how we manage the resource.

I continue to hear Canadian fishermen remain among the lowest earners in Canada. Despite our natural access to the resource, Canada’s fishery is becoming a smaller and smaller player on the world stage.

We are no longer seeing the abundance of fish our country enjoyed in the past, so we can no longer rely on the quantity of this renewable resource to create economic prosperity; better management practices are required.

Our government has been making strides in helping the fishery. For example, we have made the largest investments to small craft harbours in a generation and we are working to ensure a sustainable future for Canada’s fishery.

However, in the absence of being able to create more fish in the sea, we must find ways to make the fishery more valuable, profitable and respectful of the resource for future generations.

The World Bank estimates, globally, if fisheries management practices were improved, we could capture a significant part of the $50 billion lost annually from this industry. That means more jobs and more economic growth in our coastal and rural regions.

In these challenging economic times, this is an opportunity we cannot afford to waste.

Now is not the time to shutter the debate on how to improve how we do business. We are engaging with all stakeholders across the country to explore how we can better manage Canada’s fishery for the long-term use of the resource and how Canadian fishermen can earn more from it.

We welcome all views from all Canadians to participate onlineat at ‘’.

Keith Ashfield

Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Organizations: Dear Editor, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, World Bank

Geographic location: Canada

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Recent comments

  • roland paddock
    May 13, 2012 - 22:41

    when isueing a fishing quota to a fisherman or a boat which ever it may be it would be wise to give out a quota for a certain amount of fish reguardless of the type of fish if a boat gets a quota for lets say 20 ton of cod fish and 10 ton of herring thats their quota now when they drop their nets in the water and brings up 5 ton of red fish 10 ton of cod and 5 ton of herring and 5ton of flounder what happens to the red fish and the flounder it goes through the screw or just dumped over the side because they dont have a quota for it what a waste it happens all the time not only by foren draggers but by canadains and not only on the coast lines but on the lakes as well it should be u get a quota you got it no matter what kind of fish you catch u bring it ashore 50 tons of fish thats it no matter what u catch then there is no reason to dump anythingfishermen is dumping all kind of fish because of this just because the goverment says you got quota for only one kind and not this kind well lets take a close look at the stocks of every kind and see what quotas can be changed on our oceans and lakes