Editorial: Auditor General scrutinizes DFO’s fish stock management

envie-sustain-development-commish-julie-gelfeldIn a province that has the Pacific Salmon as an official emblem, it’s surprising that a report from the federal Auditor General on the management of fish stocks by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans didn’t get more attention. The audit, conducted by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (part of the Auditor General’s office), disclosed a number of deficiencies that should have raised concerns, if not alarm. For example, it found only three of 15 critically depleted stocks had rebuilding plans, increasing the risk that depleted stocks won’t recover. Moreover, of 154 fish stocks, 44 were either missing integrated fish management plans or the plans were out of date. Among other problems the audit identified, third-party observers hired by fishing companies sometimes failed to comply with program requirements but DFO had little recourse other than revoking their designation, which would have deprived it of catch data. Read the op-ed here 13:21