Focusing on the restoration of fisheries

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague from South Shore—St. Margarets has also championed another bill we are working on in the House right now, Bill C-64, which deals with derelict vessels, and I thank her for that.

She happened to mention that we had a good fishery in 2012 and we will have a good fishery again. I think of the historical nature of the Fisheries Act, which came into being in 1868. Let us consider what we have lost. We had an abundant fishery, when we consider the Atlantic coast and the great Newfoundland cod fishery, which maintained communities in Newfoundland and Labrador and much of Atlantic Canada for generations. By the early 1990s, that fishery was destroyed.

Rebuilding fisheries is one of the things I am pleased about with respect to this legislation. It changed the focus to restoration of fisheries. I wonder if the hon. member has any comments on that aspect.

Bernadette Jordan – Member for South Shore-St. Margarets

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for her advocacy on behalf of our fisheries. We recognize that they sustain so many of our coastal communities.

My colleague is right. This legislation is not just about protecting fish and fish habitat. It is about growing fish habitat and making sure that it is sustainable in the long term. We need to make sure that we do not just sustain our fishery but have an abundance in our fishery, and this legislation would go a long way toward making sure that this happens.