Putting the Cart Before the Redfish

This was supposed to be a good-news story. In Atlantic Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence, redfish have returned from the brink. Nearly 30 years after the fishery was closed, redfish populations have rebounded. Fishers, who have suffered through years of fisheries closures and widespread stock declines, have been eagerly eyeing the reemergence of the resource. But in early 2024, when Canadian fisheries minister Diane Lebouthillier declared that the redfish fishery would reopen later this year, keen observers received the announcement with apprehension. And now, as the reopening draws near—the tentative start date is June 15—conservationists and fishers say that climate change, shifts in the Gulf of St. Lawrence ecosystem, and unfavorable market conditions mean the fishery is unlikely to be the boon many are anticipating. This change of perspective hinges, in part, on research by scientists with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) that shows redfish have stopped growing. more, >>click to read<< 12:38

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