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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Press Release: DFO Releases Strategy for Rebuilding Atlantic Cod Stocks

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Nov. 23, 2005) - Geoff Regan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), along with his provincial counterparts from New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec today released a federal-provincial strategy for the rebuilding of Atlantic cod stocks.

"I am pleased that federal and provincial governments have been able to work so co-operatively together on a co-ordinated, multilateral approach to the rebuilding of shared cod stocks," said Minister Regan.

In 2003, three federal-provincial Cod Action Teams were established for Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and the Maritimes (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI).The primary objective of these teams was to develop a stock rebuilding strategy for Atlantic cod stocks. Each Cod Action Team undertook consultations with a variety of stakeholders, including industry, Aboriginal communities, academics, environmental groups and local interests to develop these long-term strategies.

"Stakeholders played an important role in the development of these rebuilding strategies by providing direction on issues related to their respective stocks," said David Alward, New Brunswick Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture. "Their continued contribution will be key in the implementation phase of the strategy. In order to move forward, concerted efforts will be required by all partners.

"These cod stocks remain at various stages of rebuilding. While some continue to be at very low levels compared to historic highs, others have shown some signs of rebuilding over the past number of years."The co-operation between the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Government of Canada on the cod recovery strategy lays the foundation for greater federal-provincial collaboration in the management of adjacent fish stocks," said Newfoundland and Labrador Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Tom Rideout. "Our government looks forward to moving ahead with the federal government on this extremely important initiative for the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery."

In delivering on their mandates, the individual cod rebuilding strategies share many common elements, including cod stock status information, examination of some of the key factors affecting rebuilding and the importance of shared stewardship, among others.

Currently, 12 aquatic species, including four Atlantic cod populations, are being considered for listing under SARA by the Government of Canada. Regardless of whether or not these stocks are listed under SARA, these federal-provincial cod rebuilding strategies will inform and assist in the development of management plans and/or recovery strategies as required.

"Cod stocks have been and are currently being affected by a number of major factors, including shifts in environmental conditions, even when fishing efforts have been minimal," said Chris d'Entremont, Nova Scotia Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. "Stock levels are low, but there is potential for recovery over time. I think these reports provide an excellent reference for us to facilitate recovery in a practical and realistic way."

The federal-provincial Cod Action Teams rebuilding strategies provide the federal and provincial governments with recommended objectives, principles and measures for ongoing collaboration. They allow governments to take a comprehensive, targeted and focused approach toward cod stock rebuilding.

"I look forward to working closely with my federal and provincial counterparts and the industry in the rebuilding of this vital resource," said Prince Edward Island Fisheries Minister Kevin MacAdam. "The success of the Prince Edward Island fishery depends on continued access to a diversified resource, the maximization of its value, and thus contributes to the goal of a sustainable cod fishery."

"Due to the importance of the cod fishery in many maritime regions of Quebec, we believe that the governments' concerted approach will help the rebuilding of stocks," said Laurent Lessard, Quebec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. "I wish however to emphasize that the plan for rebuilding cod stocks must be conceived as a group of global actions to put in place jointly while taking into account regional differences."

These rebuilding strategies provide the necessary groundwork for efficient and effective rebuilding efforts, to ensure the conservation and sustainability of the cod fishery in Atlantic Canada for current and future generations.

"The level of teamwork and dedication shown in building this strategy underlines the economic, historical and social importance of cod stocks to Atlantic Canada and Quebec," said Minister Regan.

The following documents related to this announcement can be found on DFO's website at http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media/infocus/2005/20051123_e.htm (or you can access them through this site's Fishing snd Sealing Links section.)

- The multilateral overview document: "A Federal-Provincial Strategy for the Rebuilding of Atlantic Cod Stocks"

- The Cod Action Teams Reports: - Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador - Canada-Quebec - Canada-Maritimes

- Backgrounders on each of the Cod Action Teams Reports: - Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador - Canada-Quebec - Canada-Maritimes

1 comment:

Patriot said...

Hi folks,

In case you weren't aware of this, I thought I would share it with you.

I haven't had a chance to review the strategy myself yet or to gain a full understanding of the level of co-operation but it will be interesting to look at some of the documents in the coming days and see if this is really anything of value or just another publicity stunt by Ottawa.