Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bottom feeders

So why doesn't Canada and her Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn support the UN moratorium on dragging the ocean floor for fish in international waters?

Here's a clue :
"Bottom trawls represented 28 per cent of the total landed value of fisheries in eastern Canada, about $500 million, in 2001."

Only 40% of the Eastern Canadian sea floor has not been subjected to bottom trawling, while other areas are dragged repeatedly.

CTV : "While bottom trawling occurs largely unregulated in international waters, internal documents show that federal fisheries officials are concerned that a high seas moratorium could make its way into Canadian jurisdiction.
"While Canadian fishers engage in almost no bottom trawling on the high seas, bottom trawling is regularly practised within Canada's (exclusive economic zone) and there is significant concern domestically that any international action would be applied in Canadian waters,'' say internal briefing documents obtained by The Canadian Press using access to information legislation." Dec. 29, 2005

Yesterday Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn, who although on record as not liking bottom trawling, says "Canada is on the right track".

The Fisheries Council of Canada, which represents fish processors and marketers, said it supports Hearn's "responsible, pragmatic and effective" approach to bottom trawling.

A research report released yesterday stated that 30 per cent of commercially fished species have already collapsed due to overfishing and predicts the total collapse of world wide fish stocks by 2048.


Anonymous said...

DFO press release - Oct 18

"Despite what some detractors may say, there is no growing momentum for a blanket ban on bottom trawling at the United Nations."

"To date, we’ve required industry to modify some gear types to reduce the impact on vulnerable marine habitat. This includes developing and using new technologies that are less damaging to the ocean bottom"

Well, alrighty then.

Any stats on bottom trawling take after 2001? I couldn't get in to DFO.

Q said...

Maybe we should offer to stop it by 2050 when the ecosystem at the bottom of our waters is destroyed anyway, well probably a lot sooner but the Harpies like to plan ahead of any prevailing scientific wisdom...

Alison said...

Tim : No one can get in to DFO's research pages at the moment. Must be more of that 'revamping', like Environment Canada got.
2001 were the most recent figures I could find in cached pages.

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