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What modern safeguards should be instituted in order to ensure appropriate protections for fish and fish habitat?

Search By: 'Cumulative Effects' Show All

Research Ongoing Cumulative Impacts of Multiple Salmon Farms in Pacific Migratory Waters

SCORE:
5.0
Theme:Monitoring Threats and Reporting-back to Canadians
on 11/25/2016 1480111896
Act on Justice Cohen's concerns:  “DFO has not completed research into the effects of diseases and pathogens from salmon farms on wild Fraser .... Read More

Act on Justice Cohen's concerns: 

“DFO has not completed research into the effects of diseases and pathogens from salmon farms on wild Fraser River sockeye. Nor has DFO done any research into the cumulative effects on sockeye of having multiple salmon farms sited on their migration route. In sum, there are insufficient data (almost no data) to evaluate cause and effect relationships, and insufficient data to look for correlations between fish farm factors and measures of sockeye health such as productivity.“ Vol3 p. 24

"I accept the evidence that a devastating disease could sweep through a wild population killing large numbers of wild fish without scientists being aware of it." (Spoken in press release & in report)

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Reform the Fisheries Act!

SCORE:
3.7
Theme:Compliance and Enforcement
on 11/25/2016 1480102019
Government needs to have the ability to charge companies for destroying vital fish habitat. There needs to be strict regulations so that damaged fis .... Read More

Government needs to have the ability to charge companies for destroying vital fish habitat. There needs to be strict regulations so that damaged fish habitats are cleaned up. There need to be enough trained enforcement staff to ensure orders are followed. The provision that outlawed the “harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat” needs to be returned to the Act.

How has the DFO not laid a single charge of damaging fish habitat since 2012, despite almost 1,900 complaints nation-wide? This boggles the mind. 

Habitat protection is critical. In the words of former fisheries minister Roméo LeBlanc: "The chain of life extending to the whole open ocean depends on bogs, marshes, mudflats, and other ‘useless-looking’ places that ruin your shoes. Biologists have likened these areas to the corn fields and wheat fields on the ocean. These rich shore areas support salmon, lobster, herring and other local populations; their influence extends for hundreds of miles, even to the rockiest shorelines. They are the irreplaceable nurseries of fisheries' well-being.” (Found here: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2016/11/24/Reverse-Attack-on-Fish-Habitat-Protection/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=241116)

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Setting limits for cumulative effects, watershed-level management

SCORE:
4.5
Theme:Conservation and Protection of Fish & Fish Habitat
on 11/25/2016 1480095119
Managing cumulative effects requires that limits be set on allowable habitat change or fish population loss. Setting those limits is both a a technica .... Read More

Managing cumulative effects requires that limits be set on allowable habitat change or fish population loss. Setting those limits is both a a technical and a political exercise. It needs to be done in an open and public process, and involve multiple jurisdictions. The new Fisheries Act must provide for such a process.

To illustrate the issues, consider Ripley et al. (2005) http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/f05-150#.WDdOcHdk8UE, their Figure 2. Probability of bull trout occurrence in a watershed declines with ANY tree harvest or road development. There is no threshold of development in watersheds below which bull trout are completely safe in the presence of logging or roads, so there is no objective limit you can use for managing logging.

The allowable amount of logging & road development, and the allowable loss of bull trout, will depend on a scientifically-determined range of probabilities of persistence of bull trout in the face of logging, from which an acceptable, politically-determined level of  logging is selected. Also, note that this has to be determined at the watershed level, showing that there will have to be cooperative management involving different legal jurisdictions.

Some exercise like this would need to be done for each species in a watershed, or by evaluating the probability of persistence of entire fish communities. The new Fisheries Act needs to be written in a way that accommodates processes like this.

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A national program for dealing with derelict fishing gear

SCORE:
1.0
Theme:Conservation and Protection of Fish & Fish Habitat
on 11/25/2016 1480094898
Canada's oceans have long been amongst the richest and biologically diverse oceans in the world. Millions of invertebrates, fish, marine mammals and b .... Read More

Canada's oceans have long been amongst the richest and biologically diverse oceans in the world. Millions of invertebrates, fish, marine mammals and birds live under, on and over these waters and depend on them for food and shelter. We Canadians benefit from these riches in various ways. We fish for food, grow kelp and shellfish and use the oceans for recreational activities such as scuba diving. These activities support a large and wide varieties of enterprises and many people's livelihood depend on them. However there is a serious risk for the sustainability of these economic sectors. Each years tonnes of abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear, called ghost gear, end up in our oceans or landfills. The fishing gear that ends up in the ocean continues to fish and kill millions of non targeted species such as fish, birds, seals, whales and other animals. The fishing that ends up in the land fill is a missed opportunity for recycling as there is a wide range of options to re-use these materials into new products such as clothing, industrial carpet tiles and other useful products. For 7 years my wife Kathy Johnson and I have created , run and funded the only consistent (volunteer) ghost gear removal program in our area in BC and, as far as we are aware, in Canada. We have made our program part of a worldwide effort that removes ghost gear all over the world. Other countries and states have since long been funding platforms that locate, remove and recycle the ghost gear. It is unacceptable to see that Canada is nowhere on the world stage and is even behind some third world countries in this aspect. Due to the lack of political leadership from the past gouvernment we have not seen a federal program that addresses and supports a national ghost gear removal program. In the last year we have seen no progress in this matter despite efforts of organizations such Animal World Protection to start discussions with gouvernment and industry. I would hate to think that my trust that I have this current gouvernment is misplaced. In the ministerial mandate letter that was sent to the Ministry of Fisheries Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard one of the targets is specifically mentioned : “Restore funding to support federal ocean science and monitoring programs, to protect the health of fish stocks, to monitor contaminants and pollution in the oceans, and to support responsible and sustainable aquaculture industries on Canada’s coasts.” Clearly the previously mentioned ghost gear is both a pollutant and a threat to the sustainability of fish stocks and health of the oceans. I expect the responsible Minister to develop, fund, implement and enforce a program that not only deals with the existing gear in our oceans but also prevents the creation of new ghost gear. This would include the recycling of the retrieved and end of life gear that is currently dumped in landfills. The technology and people are there . We now need the leadership to get legislation and funding to start dealing with this issue. I therefore invite the responsible people of the ministry to contact me and work with myself and other organizations to get Canada back in a leadership position and literally clean up its ocean act. I am grateful for any support and look forward to share our experience and knowledge in order to create a better Canada. Kind regards Peter Mieras

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Public Fisheries Database

SCORE:
4.0
Theme:Opportunities for Partnerships and Collaborations
on 11/25/2016 1480091791
I propose that we work on establishing a federal database and an interactive mapping framework (IMF) similar to that currently used in Alberta. Work b .... Read More

I propose that we work on establishing a federal database and an interactive mapping framework (IMF) similar to that currently used in Alberta. Work being done on a Provincial level is regularly uploaded through a load form to the database and points are then populated on a map after the data is entered. This data is then searchable through an IMF system to help establish a baseline of the species richness and presence in an area. The responsibility of uploading information falls to those collecting the data through fish research licenses, public fishing, angling groups, etc. The federal governing body would really only be tasked with website maintenance. This would allow government, consultants, public, special interest group, etc to have reliable information at their finger tips. 

There is constantly work being done by consultants, government, industry etc. Why not give them a spot to upload e-fishing, netting, and angling data? It would allow us to better understand the distribution of fish in our country and give us a invaluable database to draw from.

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Extensive damage of our environment is a crime is ecocide

SCORE:
2.0
Theme:Compliance and Enforcement
on 11/25/2016 1480043419
The UN SDGs are motivated as a result in part of the UN GEO reports of extensive unsustainable damage being duty to our environment. As a result of th .... Read More

The UN SDGs are motivated as a result in part of the UN GEO reports of extensive unsustainable damage being duty to our environment. As a result of this awareness I informed PM Stephen Harper and PM Justin Trudeau , the Clerk of the Privy Council, the Min of the Environment, the Min of Justice , the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defense of the proposal to have extensive damage of our environment recognized as criminal acts of ecocide in the Rome Statute from which the International Criminal Court (ICC) get it authority. When does the extensive damage to the web which in this case fish and fish habitat are a component cross the line and threaten the extinction of a species , the mental , physical ecological, economic and food security of Canadians , of  humanity?  When as a result must such damage be recognized as violations of humanities rights to peace and security ?  The government of Canada must recognize that it has the superior duty to protect citizens and the environment what sustains them.  In sept 2016 the ICC announced it intends to prosecute environmental crimes @chrisarsenaul Thomson Reuters Foundation  http://tinyurl.com/jkp6cru In closing is the nation Canada that committed cultural genocide of first nations people now committing ecocide the extensive unsustainable damage to our planets atmsopere, oceans and ecosystems, the web of life, commonly called climate change. Will those with a duty to protect Canadians do the right thing.Having informed the government of Canada repeatedly unfortunately they have not yet fulfilled their duty. 

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Cumulative effects

SCORE:
3.0
Theme:Conservation and Protection of Fish & Fish Habitat
on 11/25/2016 1480040969
Climate change will affect most fish by warming the waters/decreasing oxygen content, increasing the acidification/affecting the food chain, for salm .... Read More

Climate change will affect most fish by warming the waters/decreasing oxygen content, increasing the acidification/affecting the food chain, for salmon, lowering stream flow and warming air temperature that both increase water temperature and reduce oxygen content and survivability. of adults.

 

increased flooding can increase erosion and impact survivability of the juvenile salmon.

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Cumulative Effects Must be Considered

SCORE:
4.2
Theme:Conservation and Protection of Fish & Fish Habitat
on 11/24/2016 1480027336
Consideration needs to be made for cumulative effects. This may not be easy but it is important and needs to start with setting ecosystem-based habit .... Read More

Consideration needs to be made for cumulative effects. This may not be easy but it is important and needs to start with setting ecosystem-based habitat targets at various scales, using the best available science. Approvals should consider other impacts already facing a watershed. Low or moderate risk activities could be tracked using simple permitting processes or even a notification process that is available on a public registry. Currently, DFO does not know and therefore cannot track the number of small projects being implemented on or near water. DFO cannot prevent a “death by a thousand cuts” if we do not know either how many cuts have been made, or where they are.

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Does Canada’s New Fisheries Act Leave Some Arctic Fish or Habitats Behind?

SCORE:
5.0
Theme:Conservation and Protection of Fish & Fish Habitat
on 11/24/2016 1480022479
Dear Colleagues, I would like to bring a Commentary, published in the Journal Arctic in March 2014, on the impacts of the 2012 changes to the Fisherie .... Read More

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to bring a Commentary, published in the Journal Arctic in March 2014, on the impacts of the 2012 changes to the Fisheries Act in remote regions such as the Canadian Arctic to your attention.

The article can be found here: 'Does Canada’s New Fisheries Act Leave Some Arctic Fish or Habitats Behind? (Citation: Gantner, N., 2014 Arctic 67(1)iii-v)

While this piece highlights concerns regarding one particular ecosystem and infrastructure project - which is now nearly completed, these may be echoed in any number of remote regions facing increased interest in natural resource development and environmental protection, particularly when fish and fish habitat are at stake.

Recommendations:

  1. Bring back the Fish Habitat provision(s).
  2. Return to protecting all fish species, not only 'CRA fisheries'
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