January 13 2018 Fishing Industries in Canada
Intro: the fisheries in Canada in the recent years have diminished, from 1624,792 to 850.533 Total fish caught, they are far from what they were in the 1990’s, this is mainly attributed to poor fishing practices and poor methods of sustainabilityi. However, over the recent years Canada has been leaning more towards “More Profit, Less Fish”ii, although it allows other fish stocks to heal, it also means that if Canada were too dependent on a certain fish stock and had no reliable fallback stock, it could result in a similar disaster, such as the 1992 COD Disasteriii.
As of currently the use of fish in Canada is extremely important to the economy, in 2016 alone almost 6.3 Billion dollars of revenue was made from just exporting fish aloneiv, the most valuable fish stocks out of the 159 tend to be shellfish, lobster alone generated 2.3 billion dollarsv. Besides the exportation of fish, almost 72,000 Canadians have found a living off this. Currently restrictions are put, on species of fish that are in critical condition (below 40% of their biomass) vi.
As of currently, using the data given it seems that our total catches will only continue to decrease, over the years poor fishing practices, and methods of sustainability have led to these reductions. Ground fish, and pelagic fish are now becoming more irrelevant to the modern Canadian fishing industry, due to the fact that most fisheries are making more profit off of shellfishvii, and it is also noted that catches are also getting less diverse, as companies move towards profitviii. A study showed that of the 159 major fish stocks, about one third was healthy, while the other third was in unknown status, this proved to be alarming, as fisheries need to have a reliable fall back stock, they cannot depend on just a small group of fish stock, fisheries have to be more diverse, if they want to be sustainable for the long run, it’s not about getting profit en masse, it’s about earning a sustainable amountix.
As you can see with the data given, our poor resource management, have diminished our fish stocks. Looking at the past it seems that poor practices led to this poor situation. It was also noted that the great lakes also have a huge fishing industry however with the introduction of foreign species, it seemed that the great lakes ecosystem could no longer support a massive population for fish, for the past 50 years almost 52% of total fish have diminished from the great lakes, due to poor resource management of the fish’s ecosystemx. Ocean fishing industries have a better opportunity, in terms of ecosystem, as the fish have a wider area to repopulate. Poor resource management is one of the main reasons why Canada haven’t been able to be a leading fish industryxi, Canada has to focus on its sustainability more than its profit, because at this rate another catastrophe is just around the corner.
Currently the government has put in place a set of policies that fisheries must abide to, which include humane treatment of the fish, and sustainable management of ecosystemsxii. Areas like the Atlantic have their own organization the NAFO (North Atlantic Fisheries Organization) which enforces policiesxiii. However even with these policies set in place, illegal fishing activities still run rampant, like in the 1980’s, where Spain had overfished in the Tail Of The Grand Banks region, due to the fact it had not signed the NAFO Treaty. Although Canada has policies that could possibly sustain Canadian fisheries, they do not enforce it very well, Canada should be more punishing on those who break their policies, as that can reduce the amount of illegal fishing activitiesxiv.
it seems that our way of fishing currently will only decline using the data given, Canada has to adapt better methods of fishing more rapidly and know how to sustain their ecosystems, if it wants to have a chance to sustain fish populations. It is at the point where fish populations are getting below their sustainable biomassxv. Canada has fallen below leading world countries in fishing, and it is because of their methods used in sustaining fish populations. If Canada wants to be successful they’ll have to know how to properly sustain a fish population, because at this rate Canada will only continue to decline in economic sectors of fishing, and eco sectors of fishing.