Massive fire sale of Canada’s fisheries resources

February 29, 1996

In their rush to protect a failed management system senior bureaucrats in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are preparing a massive fire sale of Canada’s fisheries resources that will eliminate thousands of jobs and turn huge profits over to private corporations.

Through proposed changes to the Fisheries Act the Department would be empowered to hand over whole fisheries to private interests in exchange for funding most aspects of the existing management system. At the same time the Department would implement a series of policies that would radically reduce participation in the fishery thereby increasing the profitability for those that remain.

The privatization plan is being advanced despite commitments made to fishermen’s organizations by former fisheries Minister Brian Tobin that a different approach to the difficult problem of fleet redcution would be followed.

“The very people that created the fisheries mess in the first place have cooked up another plan that would turn fishing licences into a capital commodity. Their intent is to disenfanchise huge numbers of people removing their sources of livelihood and turning the fishing licence into a speculative investment as opposed to a way to earn a living” according to Daniel Bernier of the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters.

You can see the media release in its original format here.