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A Fishery for Our Grandchildren

A Fishery for Our Grandchildren

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A Fishery for Our Grandchildren

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  1. A Fishery for Our Grandchildren John Kearney John F. Kearney & Associates January 2007

  2. Analysis of Current Management • The fishery of the past 30 years has been based on killing fish: measured by rates of exploitation. • Conservation has equaled the maintenance of an exploitation rate (F0.1) that leaves enough mature fish for the stock to reproduce itself. • Fish is viewed primarily as a commodity for trade on local, national, and international markets. • Biodiversity, habitat, ecological interactions, aesthetic, social, and cultural values are considered as largely irrelevant to fisheries management. • The primary goal of fisheries management is to promote the financial viability of fishing firms through privatization.

  3. Assumptions • The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans will not deviate from its current management approach in the foreseeable future. • If anything, this approach will be intensified, with increasing privatization and some reform towards a more ecological approach. • Fishing will become even more corporate with the disappearance of family-based fishing enterprises. • Fishermen’s organizations will increasingly represent an ever smaller base of the remaining fishermen with diminishing concern for coastal communities and the larger public interest.

  4. Most Likely Scenario • Fisheries will continue to collapse in Atlantic Canada and globally. • Collapsed fish stocks will be viewed as normal and conservation will equal maintaining a remnant stock to support a small corporate elite. • Fish will be an increasingly expensive commodity in much the same manner as any “non-renewable” resource. • Within 50 years, fishing will be virtually non-existent in Atlantic Canada as increasing ecological degradation leads to the commercial extinction of remnant stocks.

  5. What is to be Done? A Fishery for our Grandchildren • Maintain a remnant population of community and family based fishing knowledge, skills, values, and activity. • Develop a parallel fisheries system based on non-commoditized local food production and local food systems. • Move from an emphasis on conservation to restoration. • Prepare for the community take-over of the fishery in 2050.

  6. Practical Steps Now • Establish broad-based Community Fisheries Restoration Councils. • Establish linkages with local, organic, and fair trade food movements and systems in agriculture. • Develop support mechanisms for the maintenance of the remnant population of family and community-based fishers. • Where possible, develop a one-licence multi-species restorative and ecological fishery. • Focus equally on ecological and fish stock restoration • Prepare a management plan for the Year 2050.