While the EU commission recommends that the EU supports a listing of bluefin tuna under Appendix I of CITES (albeit with some ridiculous conditions), Canada has decided to not only refuse to support the listing but try to influence other countries to do the same. Thanks Minister Shea, you're such a great advocate for sustainable fisheries. Oh wait...
(Photo source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat)
It's shocking how off-base DFO is on this one. Clearly Minister Shea is only focussed on how a ban would impact Canadian fishers that export 95% of the bluefin they catch. But what about the long-term sustainability of the western stock or the impact of a collapse in the eastern Atlantic?
Studies have shown that the eastern Atlantic/Mediterranean and western Atlantic stocks of bluefin tuna mix, and thus despite whether Minister Shea's claims on how stellar our management of the bluefin is...funny how ICCAT's own scientists seem to feel as though the management has done sh*it-all in terms of recovery, but I digress...so despite better management of the western stock, if the eastern stock is going down the tubes, will that not also impact the recovery and sustainability of the western stock? If ICCAT's scientists, the head of the CITES unit, the UN FAO, other well-known scientists and a plethora of enviro orgs...oh and a number of Nations, some of which have a real stake in the eastern fishery, all believe bft meets the CITES criteria and should be banned from international trade in an attempt to help stocks recover, does Minister Shea know something we all don't know? Or is she just doing what DFO does best which is catering to the short-term interests of the fishing industry at the expense of the long-term welfare of fish stocks, ecosystem health and fishing communities.
Is she not aware of the judicial inquiry into the sockeye collapse? Is she not familiar with the plight of the cod? If we've learned anything from pushing the limits on ailing or depleted fish stocks, it's that it is only a matter of time before landings plummet, the very interests DFO seeks to protect are out of work, fingers are being pointed in all directions and scientists are saying...well, we all saw the warning signs.....Come on Minister Shea....I know you want to get re-elected in your riding (PEI holds the largest number of commercial bluefin licenses)....but is it worth sending another species into oblivion?