Welcome to Sustainable Fisheries

Etchegary condemns comments by Loyola Hearn on N&L fishery

Mr. Gus Etchegary, Chairman of the Fisheries Community Alliance in N&L, and a longtime advocate on fisheries issues, has condemned  in a hard-hitting letter to N&L media (see below) recent statements by former federal fisheries minister Loyola Hearn.

Dear Editor:

Re: Loyola’s Rant

If the speech by former DFO Minister Loyola Hearn was reported
accurately in last Fridays St. John’s Telegram it surely represents the
epitome of misinformation that has continuously spewed from DFO
Ministers and their senior bureaucrats in recent years. It was another
vain attempt to bury the Federal fisheries mismanagement record since
1970 and particularly since the moratorium was declared in 1992.

How Hearn could muster the unmitigated gall to utter statements that all
is well in the Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries, that DFO has
everything under control and all we need to do is close a few fish
plants and “consolidate” is surely one for the books. It is clear that
whatever little knowledge he had of the N&L fisheries before and during
his unfortunate term of office as Minister has completely evaporated. We
all realize Mr. Hearn is comfortably enjoying his retirement with the
support of two pensions provided by the taxpayer but surely he must be
conscious enough to know some of the “facts of life” regarding the state
of the federally mismanaged fisheries of 2010 of which the fishermen of
our province are keenly aware on a 24 hour basis. Wake up, Mr. Hearn, to
the fact that we have lost 15 percent of our population to the mainland
and twenty five thousand jobs in fish processing and in the goods and
service sector of the industry. On top of that, the future survival of
rural N&L is in jeopardy because of federal fisheries mismanagement by
you, your predecessors and now your successor.


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Obama comments on Gulf oil spill

During his visit to the Gulf of Mexico President Obama criticized BP for its slow response to containing the spill and predicted severe environmental damage. See the video of his remarks here

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Fishing halted in areas affected by the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico,

The federal government ordered a halt on Sunday to fishing in areas affected by the ever-spreading oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico, a ban that covers waters from Louisiana to Florida and hinders the livelihoods of untold numbers of fishermen. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration restricted fishing for at least 10 days in the affected waters, largely between Louisiana state waters at the mouth of the Mississippi River to waters off Pensacola Bay in Florida.

Meanwhile Louisiana and Mississippi have already asked the government to declare a fisheries disaster, a requirement for federal disaster aid.

More here

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Environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico

Hour by hour, the vast oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is turning into a disaster of epic proportions. It appears that this will be the most damaging oil spill in the history of the United States.

Some scientists are saying that the spill, the source of which BP admits could take three months to plug, could become the worst ever offshore oil disaster, threatening not only hundreds of species of birds and fish along the Gulf coast but poisoning one of the world's richest seafood grounds.

This is the time for hatching and rearing along the Gulf Coast. Species as diverse as pelicans, shrimp and alligators are all reproducing, or preparing to. That could bring sensitive young animals in contact with toxic oil or cause their parents to plunge into oily waters looking for food.

For extensive coverage of the crisis, the attempts to deal with it and the implications, read more here:

The Washington Post   The Toronto Star The New York Times  Ottawa Citizen 

 US Oil Spill Endangers Fisheries (video)

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What are “sustainable” fisheries?

Fisheries scientists invented the concept of sustainability. That may be stretching things, but the concept of sustainability was a central part of fisheries management long before it entered the general vocabulary in the 1980s.   Achieving maximum sustainable yield (MSY) was the general goal of fisheries management from at least the 1930’s.  The development of production modelling of fish populations in the 1950’s provided quantitative methods for determining MSY, and the more complex population modelling techniques developed at this time were also applied to determine sustainable yields.

So, what is a sustainable fishery?  It is a fishery in which multiple dimensions in each of the three pillars of sustainability are addressed: environmental (sustainable yield from the target stock, environmental fluctuations, ecosystem impacts; etc), economic (profitability, distribution of incomes, etc) and social (institutional structures, equity, maintenance of traditional communities, etc) are addressed. By the 1970’s, MSY was sufficiently well established in fisheries management to be cited as a guiding principle in the UN Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) (1982).  UNCLOS Article 119a, which provides guidance on conservation of fish stocks in international waters, specifies that the overall goal should be “maximum sustainable yield as qualified by relevant environmental and economic factors”.


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