16 July 2008

Damn-fool fishery: the politics of plunder

CBC News has a story that should cause concern among people genuinely concerned about the fishery along the northeast coast.

Information obtained by CBC - update: now online - suggests catch estimates for the recreational fishery in 2007 were four times higher than federal fisheries own internal estimates of catch rates.

As part of its own quality control, Fisheries and Oceans hired a market researcher to survey a sample of people who were involved in the fishery. They reported participation and fish landings significantly higher than DFO's own records and estimates.

DFO tried to find a fault in the telephone survey but so far they haven't found one.

That just leads us back to the abiding concern that the damn-fool fishery is nothing more than an exercise in ensuring there'll be a time when no fish swam. It's not like there's no evidence that cod stocks, especially along the northeast coast, are still under great pressure and are still just a tiny fraction fof what was once there.

Rather than risk destroying the stocks altogether by effectively unregulated - and entirely unecessary - fishing activity, far better to eliminate the vote fishery.

It's not about tradition. It's not about heritage and the people promoting aren't really going to conserve anything.


The whole damn-fool fishery is about politics and the faster we get rid of it, the better off we'll be.

Politics killed the cod.

The politics of propping up communities and fish processors, some of whom continue to perpetrate myths about the fishery as they head deeper into their dotage.

Now it's the politics of the people who use words like heritage and tradition as an excuse for unrestrained plunder of our natural resources.

Proponents of the so-called food fishery are basically the same as the people who try to pass off screech-ins as an authentic part of Newfoundland culture.

That sort of politics killed the cod.

When will we figure that out?

Hopefully not before it's too late.