` Oceana Fishery Audit 2021

Voices and Videos


“We must integrate Indigenous perspectives into fisheries management through two-eyed seeing (Etuaptmumk in Mi’kmaw) that balances traditional Indigenous Knowledge with contemporary science for the benefit of all. This includes an understanding that we have a responsibility to take no action today that will compromise the ecological integrity of an area in the future. It is time to engage in a new narrative for our oceans.”

Elder Albert Marshall, LLD, Moose Clan of the Mi’kmaw Nation

“Canadian fisheries management must emphasize rebuilding depleted fish populations to healthy levels, particularly if we want to maintain our place as a top fishing nation in the coming decades. This means ensuring at least half of the unexploited population biomass§ is left in the water to reduce the risk of unintentional overfishing, maximize the economic benefits from fisheries and sustain functional food webs.”

Dr. Daniel Pauly, Professor & Principal Investigator, Sea Around Us,The University of British Columbia and Oceana Board Member.

“My family’s fishing enterprise was passed down from my grandfather, so if I stick with this, everything he worked for would stay in the family. The inshore fishery is passed down through generations. It’s a traditional practice, and things like climate change will impact our traditions. A lot of what they’ve taught me about the fishery, like weather patterns and fish behaviour, is already changing.”

Jasmine Paul, fisher, Come by Chance N.L.

97 per cent of people across Canada feel it’s important that the government rebuilds depleted fish populations.*

*  The poll was conducted by Abacus Data for Oceana Canada and surveyed 1,500 Canadians in late April 2021.


“Canada’s efforts to sustain healthy oceans are harmed by how much decision-making discretion the Fisheries Minister has. Curtailing this would increase accountability and transparency, strengthen links between science and policy and limit government’s ability to make decisions that hinder fisheries sustainability — such as setting fishing quotas when stocks are depleted."

Dr. Jeffrey Hutchings, Professor, Dalhousie University, and Chair of two Royal Society of Canada expert panels on sustaining Canada’s marine biodiversity.

“Forage fish such as capelin form the foundation of healthy ocean ecosystems as an important food source to many marine mammals, such as whales and seabirds, and larger fish, like cod. They are more valuable in the water than the net, so the Government of Canada must take extraordinary measures now to prevent overfishing.”

Dr. Robert Rangeley, Oceana Canada Science Director


§  The biomass level that supports MSY is often defined as 50 per cent of the unexploited biomass approximating the carrying capacity of a population. Source: D. Pauly and R. Froese (2021). “MSY needs no epitaph—but it was abused.” ICES Journal of Marine Science, 78(6), 2204–2210.