` Oceana Fishery Audit 2021

Recommendations

Make the Next Five Years Count

Canada has the tools to restore abundance to our oceans. But now we need to step up our efforts to use them — matching action with the urgency the situation demands. Because we simply can’t afford another five years without meaningful progress on the water.

Real change for Canada’s fisheries will require adopting globally accepted and proven best practices. At a minimum, Canada must:

  1. Pass strong rebuilding regulations: Canada’s Fisheries Act now requires that DFO take action to rebuild depleted fisheries; however, it still lacks the regulations that define how rebuilding will be accomplished. These regulations must require that rebuilding plans include scientifically estimated targets and timelines in the healthy zone and take into account all sources of fishing mortality.
  2. Make decisions about wild fish based on science and Indigenous Knowledge: Fisheries management decisions must include Indigenous evidence, practice and knowledge systems and follow the best available science.
  3. Integrate ocean ecosystem considerations: Take into account ecosystem impacts of fisheries decisions, aggressively work to rebuild depleted forage fish and address the vulnerability of species to climate change impacts.
  4. Count everything caught in a fishery — including for recreational and bait purposes — and account for all sources of fishing in management decision-making.

To address these high-level priorities and accelerate the implementation of Canada’s Sustainable Fisheries Framework, Oceana Canada calls on DFO to complete key actions within the next year outlined in a checklist at Oceana.ca/FisheryAudit2021. This includes fulfilling ongoing commitments or those that have been delayed from previous work plans, as well as those scheduled to be completed this fiscal year.

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Credit: GettyImages/Brent Barnes