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Monday, September 27, 2010

NAFO Approves Higher North Atlantic Cod Quota for Spanish Fleet

Here we go again. International relations and politics once more trump good conservation and science as the North West Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) approves an increased quota for the Spanish fleet just days after fisheries scientists announce that there has been a small increase in cod stocks after nearly 20 years of a moratorium on the species.

In 1992 the cod fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador collapsed as a result of overfishing, both illegal and legally managed (or more accurately "mis-managed"). The fishery closure devastated the provincial economy throwing 15% of the employable population out of work overnight. Many more would lose their jobs in the months and years that followed as secondary industries dependent on the fishery also suffered.

The closure led to a mass outmigration of people. In the years following the collapse of the cod fishery the population of the province fell by a staggering 20% and is only now, like the cod itself, beginning to show some tentative signs of recovery.

Now, instead of staying the course, with stocks finally beginning to show some increase, the powers that be have decided its time once again to start raping the ocean.

At its meeting in Halifax last week NAFO increased catch quotas assigned to Spanish ships for the next year, with regards to two species: cod and Greenland halibut.

The quantity of cod which Spanish fleets will be able to catch will increase by almost 180 per cent, from 796 tonnes to 1,447 tonnes.

At the meeting, it was confirmed that cod stocks had recovered - though scientific evidence shows the recovery is small and stocks are still a mere fraction of what they were during the 1970's - in Newfoundland waters, so it was decided to increase the total allowable catch (TAC).

Participants in the meeting and ultimate decision to increase the quota included representatives from the European Union, Canada, United States, Cuba, Russia, Norway, Japan, Iceland, Korea, Ukraine, France, Faroe Islands, Denmark and Greenland.

Once again we see greed trumping common sense when it comes to all matters fisheries related. It's a sad day to be a lonely cod fish in the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and Labrador. The question now becomes, how long before the last one is finally wiped from the face of the planet?


Anonymous said...

I wonder what the pay off is to Canada and the Canadian Government for the Spanish to be able to take more fish? Anyong

Patriot said...

probably has a lot to do with the fact that Canada is trying to get an EU Free trade agreement signed, similar to the NAFTA agreement.

As ususal the Canadian government has not concern with selling out Atlantic Canada to improve the fortunes of the manufacturing sectors, largely situated in Ontario and Quebec.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't that just want to make a person vomit. Atlantic Canada is always being sold out. What can be done about that? Perhaps a coilition of Atlantic Canada to bring these sell outs to the Internation Court. Free Trade with the US doesn't do much for Canadians....we can't eveb purchase a car as an individual from the US saving as much as $6,000.00 and bring it across the border without some skull duggery going on. How is a trade agreement with the EU going to make the life of ordinary Canadians better? Not likely since it is grossly greedy people who are wanting to be more grossly greedy. Anyong

Anonymous said...

Taking from the poor to give to the Rich.

NL-ExPatriate said...

International Tragedy of our commons at the hands of our tyranny of the (ON/QU) Majority political system.
Senate Equality or Exit