VANCOUVER — The David Suzuki Foundation applauds the federal government's decision to make information about Canada's major fish stocks and fisheries available to the public for the first time.
"After many years of advocating for greater public access to information, we're encouraged to see the government putting this information online," said Foundation senior research scientist Scott Wallace.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada's website now includes yearly updates about fisheries management for 159 major fish stocks, ranging from stock status and bycatch to lost gear and species at risk. "For too long we've been unable to access our government's assessment of how well they're managing Canada's fisheries. This information will help not only scientists but also the fishing industry and other stakeholders to make better decisions to improve fisheries," Wallace said.
Stepping up actions to make information about fisheries and fish health more available also responds to concerns about information gaps raised earlier this year by Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Julie Gelfand. The commissioner's audit was unable to find health information for more than half of Canada's major fish stocks. In addition, 15 major fish stocks were found to be in critical condition and still being fished, with no rebuilding plans for 12 of them.
"Canadians care about the health of our oceans and our country's ability to sustainably manage marine resources. Now they can use this knowledge to work constructively with decision-makers, better understand the issues and complexities of fisheries management and engage as concerned citizens to protect fish in their communities," Wallace said.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada Sustainability Survey for Fisheries: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/peches-fisheries/fish-ren-peche/sff-cpd/survey-sondage/index-en.html
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Scott Wallace, Senior Research Scientist, David Suzuki Foundation
Theresa Beer, Senior Communications Specialist, David Suzuki Foundation