Canadian Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn admitted last June that, "bottom trawling does damage to the [fish] stocks, and it does damage to habitat". And yet, the Canadian government is one of the few countries blocking a UN moratorium on high seas bottom trawling. (More info and how to help here.)

Minister Hern has even gone so far as to say people supporting the ban (including George W. Bush) are "extreme environmentalists". How weird is that? Bush an environmentalist?

Along with the rest of us, many Canadians are truly puzzled by this turn of events.

From an editorial in today's Toronto Star:

It's a strange day indeed when U.S. President George W. Bush appears to be a greater ally of conservation than Canada's own Department of Fisheries and Oceans. DFO, after all, lists as "our vision" a goal of ensuring "the sustainable development and safe use of Canadian waters."

The editorial goes on to say...

Canada does almost no deep-sea bottom trawling, but certainly feels the effects of the virtually constant trawling on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks.

You would think that the removal of scores of foreign bottom trawlers from just outside the 200-mile limit would be something that DFO would be leaping at. But no - Canada is opting for the status quo.

Strange days indeed, but nice at least to finally have something to we can all blame Canada for.

Bonus odd sounding headline:

Fishermen welcome Bush stand on dragging.

Call your nearest Canadian Embassy to protect deep sea habitat »

Canada failing to support moratorium on high-seas bottom trawling »