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Saturday, July 03, 2010

NL Launches Own Fisheries Research Program

From CBC News:

Williams Launches Fish Research Program

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams launched a program of fisheries science and research Friday, even though the area is the jurisdiction of the federal government.

Williams, who unveiled a $14-million program that will include chartering a research ship, noted the federal government has consistently scaled back spending on fisheries science since the 1990s.

"We have leading international scientists in this province [who] are not getting the credit they deserve, and don't have the resources and the funding that they need to get the job done," Williams said.

"Those days are over."

Williams made the announcement in St. John's on Friday, 18 years to the day after the federal government announced it was imposing a moratorium on northern cod, which had been the largest single fishery in the country.

Williams has had an often contentious relationship with both Liberal and Conservative federal governments, primarily over benefits from the province's offshore oil industry. Friday's announcement had less to do with ideology and more to do with the gradual diminishment of fisheries research in Canada.

"It's not a partisan comment, and it's not intended to be an attack on the current government," he told reporters after the announcement. "This has been a federal government problem that crosses all party lines."

Williams said the program will "change the face of the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador, but this time in a much more positive and forward thinking direction. No longer will we exclusively rely upon the research of others to guide the fishery into the future."

The government is chartering the Celtic Explorer, a 65-metre research vessel from Ireland, to undertake an acoustic survey of northern cod in 2011. The vessel will conduct research on offshore fish stocks. The government has already sponsored inshore fisheries research.

George Rose, a former federal research scientist who has been outspoken about fisheries management issues for years, has also been appointed as director of a newly founded Centre for Fisheries Ecosystem Research, to be based at Memorial University's Marine Institute in St. John's.

"We can more or less stand on our own feet here in terms of our knowledge base about our own fishery, something that I think has been overdue for a long time," Rose told reporters after the announcement.

Rose's own research program at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans was discontinued.
In a statement issued on Friday, federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea said "sound science is a cornerstone of managing the fishery and a priority for our government. We were interested to hear of the Province's initiative as they have been talking about this for many years. Because some of their activities will likely require federal approval, we look forward to seeing their proposal."

Under the Terms of Union that brought Newfoundland into Confederation in 1949, Canada has exclusive jurisdiction over inshore and offshore fisheries. Williams said he recognized that management decisions over quotas will rest with Ottawa, but that there will be a new and independent source of information about the health of local fisheries.

He also said he would not object to the federal government joining the research initiative at some point.

"[But] we can't wait. We can't afford to wait," he told reporters. "This will be a wonderful thing.… the outcomes will be significant from this exercise that we've launched today, and hopefully we'll be able to fund it up even more."

Newfoundland and Labrador will also spend $2 million to sustain the Canadian Centre of Fisheries Innovation, a research and development agency that recently lost federal funding.


Anonymous said...

Control of our fishery is as necessary to Newfoundland and Labrador as the air which we place in our lungs.

Custodial Management must be the next target of the Williams administration. It is not something that would be nice to have. It is a necessity for the survival of our culture and our history as a nation of people. We simply must have it. End of story.

And as people here like to say “ Republic Of " ;)

fatmagülün suçu ne said...

thank you