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Are NL fisheries doomed?

In St. John's this week at the AGM mtg of the Canadian Fisheries Research Network, I have heard disturbing rumours that Ocean Choice International has made a special arrangement with the Spanish to harvest OCI flatfish quotas on the Grand Banks. This rumour is circulating in the context of OCI's decision to close fish processing plants at Marystown and Port Union. If true, this will be the death knell for a large portion of the fishery in NL. It will also violate every tenet of Canadian fisheries policy and the province's fish processing policies. Who is allowing a Canadian company to take a  resource that belongs to the people of Canada and turn it over to Spanish pirates who have raped and pillaged the straddling fish stocks for decades? This is an abuse of everything Canadians fought for when we extended fisheries jurisdiction. Who will stand up and put an end to this outrage????

TAGS: sustainable, fisheries, Newfoundland, Ocean Choice International, Spain, sellout, fisheries treachery, Mayrstown, NAFO,

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Canada a Renegade at ICCAT/Fails to Protect Porbeagles

Following the recent ICCAT meeting Canada's porbeagle fishers get to continue hunting porbeagles despite their endangered status. Porbeagle sharks are considered by the IUCN as critically endangered in the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean, and endangered in the Northwest Atlantic. The joint ICCAT-ICES assessment of porbeagle sharks in 2009 shows that a rebuilding of the population to MSY would take decades, even if all fisheries and bycatch of porbeagle are banned and fishing mortality is reduced to zero. At a meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) in Istanbul, Turkey earlier this month, Canada was the only nation among 48 to defend porbeagle fishing and oppose a ban. Ironically the EU, long a pariah in the Northwest Atlantic for its overfishing of groundfish stocks in the NAFO area, won praise from environmental groups for taking a tough conservation stance on sharks, including porbeagles.


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Spanish overfishing funded by EU subsidies

An investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has found that billions of euros in subsidies built up Spain's  bloated fleet and propped up a money-losing industry. All the while companies systematically flouted the rules while officials overlooked fraud and continued to fund offenders. Ernesto Penas Lado, director of policy and enforcement at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said that “Spain has earned its bad reputation.” The Spanish fishing industry has received more than €5.8 billion (more than $8 billion) in subsidies since 2000 for everything from building new vessels and breaking down old ships to payments for retiring fishermen and training for the next generation, an unprecedented analysis by ICIJ shows. Subsidies account for almost a third of the value of the industry. Simply put, nearly one in three fish caught on a Spanish hook or raised in a Spanish farm is paid for with public money.
According to the ICIJ investigation, the subsidized Spanish fleet has cultivated an extensive record of flouting the rules while officials overlook fraud and continue to dole out aid to vessels that break the law.More than 80 percent of subsidized fishing companies that were fined in Spain for fishing infractions – and then lost subsequent court appeals – continued to receive subsidies. One Spanish shipowner received more than €8.2 million in subsidies even while his company or its affiliates faced more than 40 accusations of illegal fishing and US$5 million in fines. More here 
This leads to the question: Why is the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans continuing to play footsie with these "bad boys" of Europe, bending over backwards to cooperate with them in NAFO, which has become thoroughly discredited, and sending high level officials to Spain, e.g. ADM Science, to pretend all is well? Is it because the Harper government is so committed to a Canada-EU trade deal that it is prepared to sell out conservation and Canadian fishing interests?
 
TAGS: sustainable, fisheries, sustain, fish, Spain, fishing pirates, illegal fishing, EU subsidies
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NAFO actions grossly inadequate/Etchegary

When will NAFO seriously take conservation and rebuilding  measures and impose a moratorium on ALL NAFO  fisheries operations on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.  To give the straddling fisheries in that area any hope of recovery NAFO must take the same measures Canadian  fishermen have had to endure for the last TWENTY years.  During that period we have lost 15 percent of our fishing  population (80,000) to seek employment out of  the Province and with them the loss of 30,000 jobs  resulting from the fisheries collapse caused by NAFO overfishing and DFO mismanagement. The NAFO propaganda contained in recent press releases will undoubtedly be acceptable to some. The recent WWF report, supporting this toothless organization, is dead wrong and will not be taken seriously by most NLERS. People with real knowledge of the history of our fisheries between 1949 and 2011 will know the vast difference between truth and fantasy concerning  NAFO fisheries management. It appears the WWF is insulated from the real world of fisheries on the straddling stocks of the Grand Banks. 

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Fisheries of the United States 2010

 NOAA Fisheries recently released its Fisheries of the United States 2010 report. Fisheries of the U.S. is an annual snapshot of the landings and value of U.S. fisheries. This year it contains some good news - landings were up and the value of those landings was up. U.S. commercial fishermen landed 8.2 billion pounds of seafood valued at $4.5 billion in 2010, an increase of 200 million pounds over 2009 and an increase in value of more than $600 million from 2009. In 2010, the average American ate 15.8 pounds of fish and shellfish, a slight decline from the 2009 figure of 16 pounds. On a global scale, the U.S. continues to be third-ranked for consuming fish and shellfish, behind China and Japan. Imported seafood continues to increase to help fill consumer demand - about 86 percent of the seafood consumed in the U.S. was imported from overseas. Read the full report online.

TAGS: NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fisheries, Fisheries of the U.S., fisheries statistics

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