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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Straddling Stocks Report – Post Moratorium (1992)

In 1992 the government of Canada introduced a moratorium to protect cod stocks that were teetering on the brink of extinction.

This action, directly and indirectly, put over 10% of Newfoundland and Labrador's population out of work in the blink of an eye.

In the 17 years since this supposed ban on cod fishing was introduced the stocks have failed to make any real progress in growing their numbers and are still in dire peril of total collapse.

The following numbers may shed some light on why this is the case.

All the numbers presented below are based on North West Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) reported catches up to, and including, 2004.

Numbers after that point are not as easily accessible but are being gathered for potential future reports.

No data is available on the level of “under reported” or “non-reported” catches in these areas so the following only includes what has been officially reported to NAFO.

For those who are unfamiliar with the location of specific NAFO fishing zones, the nose and tail of the Grand Banks and the Flemish Cap, which are considered to be crucial breeding grounds or nurseries for Atlantic Cod, fall almost entirely within NAFO Zones 3M and 3N.

Note: The last set of numbers are some of the most interesting.

If you assume an average weight of 7 pounds per fish, which is probably generous due to the state of current stocks, these numbers represent about 200 million Atlantic Cod reported as caught after the 1992 moratorium was introduced and up to 2004.

As large as that number appears, nobody knows how many more cod have actually been caught and sold on world markets.


Anonymous said...

I know why Ottawa has been silent on the subject of the abuse of the FISH STOCKS on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks and the Flemish Cap.

Of course, Ottawa was gaining big time from the International Trade and Foreign Affairs clout it had created on behalf of the Manufacturing and Agriculture provinces, through being silent on its delving out of those same fish stocks.

But why in the name of GAWD have our own province's politicians, both Federal and Provincial, been so silent on the goings on which have gone on out there on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks and the Flemish Cap, given that that fish resource should have meant the difference between economic life and death for fishers of Newfoundland and Labrador?

I know the answer to that as well, the Political Patronage Plums were forever dangled in front of their eyes to keep them loyal and obedient. Their future Political Appointments which would lead to their fortunes would be in jeopardy if they spoke up! And speak up THEY DIDN'T as a result of that corrupt Politicial Patronage Plum Toolbox!

The FISH RESOURCE which the province of Newfoundland and Labrador brought to Canada was a RENEWABLE resource which could have served to sustain the 500,000 plus souls of our province economically for the rest of their lives, and the lives of everyone of their offspring, should the fish resouce been spent wisely to have created the economy which our province was so deserving of and in dire need for the past 60 years.

There was absolutely no excuse for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador's SILENCE on this matter throughout the years, NO NOT ONE!

The question needs to be asked, why the silence down through the past 60 years? I would also like to see a compilation of the list of people/politicians who were silent and complicit in the matter?

We have a right to know, we elected politicians over the past 60 years to work diligently on our behalf and to work honesly in that regard as well.

Did we get the due diligence and the honesty from those elected politicians that we were expecting from those whom we elected when we went to the ballot box? I will leave that for you to decipher.

Anonymous said...

Before the fish was allotted to go anywhere, why wasn't there a thought process put into creating a vibrant fish harvesting and fish processing industry in rural Newfoundland and Labrador? After all the province was the one with the adjacency to the prime fish stock and it was completely situated on the trading routes of the North Atlantic.

The failure to do that by both levels of government, the federal government which controlled the 'fish quotas' and the provincial government which had the adjacency and the say into where the fish processing plants would go, truly baffles me.

I don't understand how both sets of politicians, federal and provincial let such a critical matter slip through their grip.

Anonymous said...

It didn't "slip through their grip" anon. They did what they did, not for the good of the stocks or the good of the industry, but for their own political gain.

Ottawa to improve trade with other nations for the benefit of Ontario, Quebec and others.

The NL government to win re-election after re-election by building fish plants in every nook and cranny of the province.

Like one past politician once said, "I can build one or two large plants to handle all the fish we catch but if I didn't build or keep them in the smaller areas I'd never get elected again."

Isn't that sad.

Anonymous said...

It is SAD, indeed on both counts! Matter of fact it isn't only sad, it has another more sinister component, it was corrupt!

When are we going to do something about it? It still isn't too late, since it is, after all, a renewable resource which we are discussing here.

But first we will start by rebuilding the fish resource through kicking the foreign nations out of our offshore waters. We should have the world on our side on that matter.

The provincial government needs to get cracking on this and start turning around the economic malaise which it and the Federal Government has caused in our beautiful province by neglecting to see that our fish resource first served to create a vibrant industry in our province.

Ussr said...

Quick Hits...
"I suppose you could call it a stimulus budget for nine provinces and I suppose you can call it a stimulus budget for Newfoundland, but it stimulates the economy downward instead of upwards," adding that he will also "try to amend the bill."

Because Senators cannot make amendments which would require extra expenditures, he will word his amendment so that it will require the government to "re-circulate" the money in the budget if "any province were left in a negative position."

The Senate requires two Senators to stand in order for a vote to take place. The said he has not spoken to his fellow Newfoundland MPs, but hopes another Senator will stand up with him. - Newfoundland & Labrador Liberal Senator George Baker

Truly another Great Person from our Great Province Of Newfoundland and Labrador , Patriot ?