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Fishing: An Industry at the Crossroads. Canadian Fisheries. Canada’s fishing industry had a bright future up to the 1980’s The fishing industry looked forward to years of regular employment because the fish in the oceans, lakes, and rivers were a renewable resource (replace themselves)

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canadian fisheries
Canadian Fisheries
  • Canada’s fishing industry had a bright future up to the 1980’s
  • The fishing industry looked forward to years of regular employment because the fish in the oceans, lakes, and rivers were a renewable resource (replace themselves)
  • The fishing industry collapsed during the 1990’s
  • Fish stocks on the East Coast declined and shut down in 1992 - cod fishery
  • A few years later, the fishing industry was alarmed by the collapse of the salmon fishery on the West Coast
canadian fisheries1
Canadian Fisheries
  • Commercial fishing today makes up only about 0.15% of the total value of Canada’s economy
  • This may seem relatively unimportant, but in parts of Atlantic Canada, the Pacific Coast, and some inland areas, it is the foundation of the

economy

canadian fisheries2
Canadian Fisheries
  • Canadian commercial fishing occurs in three areas: the East Coast, the west Coast, and the freshwater inland lakes
  • Production from the East Coast is higher than that from the West Coast, and freshwater production is smaller than both
canadian fisheries3
Canadian Fisheries

Fishery Number Value of Catch Total Exports

of Fishers ($ millions) ($ millions)

East Coast 49 957 1104 2059

West Coast 14 164 394 829

Freshwater 6900 28 148

types of ocean fish
Types of Ocean Fish

There are different kinds of ocean fish

caught. They are categorized as:

Groundfish - bottom feeders

Pelagic Fish - open water feeders

Shellfish

slide8
Although Canada is not one of the top ten fishing nations in the world, it is one of the world’s leading exporters of fish - Canadians do not eat much fish
  • More than 50% of the Canadian catch is exported
  • Canada’s fish exports are greater than our imports, which helps our balance of trade
the east coast fishery
The East Coast Fishery
  • Until recently, the ocean waters off the East Coast of Canada were one of the world’s greatest fishing grounds
  • In the 1980’s, the East Coast fishery noticed that they were catching fewer and smaller fish - northern cod off Newfoundland
  • They seemed to be disappearing
  • The government responded by halting all fishing for northern cod and by making major cuts in the catches allowed for other groundfish species
why the east coast fishery collapsed
Why the East Coast Fishery Collapsed

Five possible reasons for

the collapse:

  • Overfishing
  • Improved Fishing Technology
  • Uncontrolled Foreign Fishing
  • Destructive Fishing Practices
  • Changes in Natural Conditions
why the east coast fishery collapsed1
Why the East Coast Fishery Collapsed
  • Overfishing - the catch that was allowed was too high. Scientists may over-estimated the amount of fish becoming adults each year. Therefore, more fish was caught than reached maturity
  • Improved Fishing Technology - the advancements of technology brought navigation systems that helped fishermen to locate schools of fish more accurately.
  • Uncontrolled Foreign Fishing - fleets of countries such as Russia and Japan caught far more fish than sustained yield methods
why the east coast fishery collapsed2
Why the East Coast Fishery Collapsed

Destructive Fishing Practices - When fishermen were trying to

catch one kind of fish, many other types of fish may have become

caught in the nets. Unwanted fish, which were already dead, were

usually just thrown away

Changes in Natural Conditions - environmental conditions can be

blamed for the collapse. The water temperatures dropped and

ocean salinity (saltiness) levels changed. Fish may changed their

migratory routes. Also, the decline in sealing resulted in seals

eating large quantities of small fish like caplin - major food source

for cod - and cod.

why the west coast fishery collapsed
Why the WestCoast Fishery Collapsed
  • The most important catch on the West Coast is salmon - coho, chum, pink, spring (chinook) and the most valuable - sockeye
  • It also included herring,

halibut, cod, crab, tuna,

shrimp, and oysters

why the west coast fishery collapsed1
Why the West Coast Fishery Collapsed

Possible reasons for

the collapse:

  • Overfishing
  • Changes in the Environment
  • Lack of a Salmon Fishing Treaty
reasons for the west coast collapse
Reasons for the West Coast Collapse

Overfishing - During the 1990s, Canadian and American salmon-fishing boats were catching over 800 000 tonnes of fish per year. Salmon weren’t being replenished because they didn’t have a chance to reach maturity. Where there was once 100 major fishing plants in B.C., there are now fewer than 10.

Changes in the Environment - global warming seems to be increasing the temperature of the Pacific Ocean - this could threaten the salmon’s habitat because salmon prefer temperatures below 7ºC. If this continues, salmon will continue to move northward - salmon would spawn in the rivers of Alaska rather than in the southerly rivers of B.C.

reasons for the west coast collapse1
Reasons for the West Coast Collapse
  • Lack of a Salmon Fishing Treaty - a long-standing dispute continues between U.S. and Canada. Canadian officials claim that fewer salmon, should be caught in order to preserve the stock - U.S. officials don’t think so - they claim there is enough salmon
challenges to the west coast fishery
Challenges to the West Coast Fishery
  • Commercial Fishing
  • Sport Fishing
  • Fishing by the

First Nations

slide18

Challenges to the

West Coast Fishery

Commercial Fishing - fish farms, which raise salmon in

pens, are now producing more salmon than are caught

in the wild and sold more cheaply than wild salmon

Sport Fishing - sport fishing wants a bigger share of the

available salmon for economic reasons - a salmon caught by

a recreational angler yields a much greater economic benefit

than a salmon caught by a commercial-fishing boat

First Nations - the Superior Court guaranteed the right of the

First Nations to fish for their own food - this use takes

precedence over all other considerations except conservation