15 March 2006

Loyola Regan strikes again

Federal fish minister Loyola Hearn announced today that the total allowable catch for harp seals this year will be the same as it has been for most of the past 13 years.

So far, Mr. Hearn hasn't made a decision that his predecessor Geoff Regan didn't make already for him.

But Hearn is still a newbie and there's time for him to change some federal policies.

Like say the one on NAFO, the international organization that sets fisheries quotas in the northwest Atlantic.

Here's what Loyola had to say a couple of weeks ago when he announced Canada would be developing an new international fisheries management approach. Work on the approach began in 1999.
"Arriving at this model with a member state of the European Union provides the opportunity for the international community to show its commitment to results;" stated Minister Hearn. "I hope it will lead to an acceleration of the NAFO reforms we're already seeking."[Emphasis added]
Now the really freaky thing about that last line on reforming NAFO is not what Minister Hearn told John Ivison of the National Lampoon Post in mid February, shortly after the noob minister was sworn in:
Numerous parliamentary committees have complained over the years that the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization, which is meant to enforce fishing quotas, is toothless and in urgent need of reform. However, Mr. Hearn said it is too late to reform NAFO, and Canada has to take on its responsibilities with the backing of other nations that oppose overfishing. [Emphasis added]
What happened in the matter of a couple of weeks for Hearn to go from claiming NAFO was beyond reform to wanting to reform NAFO?

Maybe that's like custodial management, Hearn's pre-election hobby horse. Hearn has gone from wanting to take control unilaterally of waters outside Canada's 200 mile economic zone to supporting the same policy his predecessor was following.

[h/t to an e-mail correspondent for Hearn's new name. Blarney the Green Dinosaur was getting shopworn.]