Fisheries Resource Conservation Council Disbanded

The Green Party of Canada decries the recent decision of the Government of Canada to cut all funding to the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council. The Council was created in 1993 with the mandate of providing recommendations on conservation strategies for the Atlantic fishery to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.  “The Harper Government seems determined to gut all environmental protection from sea to sea,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands.

The Council consisted of representatives from the fishing industry and scientists from various disciplines, drawn from each of the Atlantic Provinces, Quebec and Nunavut.  A small Secretariat provided support from Ottawa.

“It is death for environmental protection by a thousand small cuts,” said May.  “First we see scientists chopped from various environmental ministries, then we see the killing of the Canadian Environmental Network, now the sword has dropped on the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council. Where will it end?”

“The purpose behind the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council was to ensure that sound scientific decisions were being made that also made sense for the fishery,” said Green Fisheries Critic Janice Harvey.  “If we are no longer making science-based decisions on our fish quotas, if we have fewer scientists examining stocks, if the Ministry no longer communicates with fishermen, there is no way that we can properly manage our fisheries.  With climate change bringing real challenges in terms of ocean water temperature and acidity, this is the worst possible time for these cutbacks.”