I have read many Government of Canada documents.
Some of them caused me to roll my eyes, some of them caused chuckles, some were examples of great work and there has been one document that was the most insulting thing I have ever read.
That insulting document is the reason I write this letter.
The Canadian Government is about to designate a part of the ocean as an MPA (marine protected area). Before they do so, they are asking for input from the general public and the document they are providing for review is the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement for the Laurentian Channel Marine Protected area. If you copy and paste, http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2017/2017-06-24/html/reg2-eng.php into your web browser you can have the pleasure of reading the garbage.
The document identifies marine traffic, oil and gas production, seismic surveys, excavating the ocean floor for cables and pipelines, anchorage and commercial fishing as human induced activities that were incompatible with the objectives of an MPA.
Having said that, the only one of those human activities that will be outlawed within the boundaries of the MPA is commercial fishing.
You can read the document and see for yourself, but the document can be summarised as saying that commercial and recreational fishing are the reason fish species are in danger of extinction and the humans who prosecute those activities have to be stopped.
The document is saying that if we continue to dig up the ocean floor, if we continue blast the crap out of the North Atlantic with air guns and if we continue to ram into whatever whales and turtles we see, its no big deal. However, if we bait one hook or set one net or set one crab pot and if we do it for either recreational or commercial purposes, we are scum.
The human activities of recreational and commercial fishing are the only activities that will be outlawed within the MPA.
If you read the document you will find some of the organizations who participated in this document. A document that insults the 500-year-old commercial fishing profession and every person that has ever made it their way of life.
While some might understand why organizations like WWF-Canada, One Ocean and DFO might be OK with the content of the document, it is truly unbelievable why one of the participants would allow this to happen. That organization is the FFAW-Unifor.
An organization that has sworn to protect the reputation and longevity of the fishing industry and the people who participate in it, FFAW-Unifor, was and is part of the MPA implementation process and they have not publicly, or otherwise, condemned the outcome.
That outcome is, as already stated, to blame the fishing industry and its participants for all of the ills in the North Atlantic Ocean.
While participants in the MPA process will quickly profess to be friends of the ocean, this document clearly shows who they think the biggest enemy of the ocean is.
Portugal Cove-St. Philips
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