For too long, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has remained complacent while evidence mounts that an overpopulation of seals is having a serious impact on important fish species in Newfoundland and Labrador and throughout Atlantic Canada. When it comes to conducting science on seals, DFO has not given adequate consideration to species predation that could significantly impact the health of fish stocks. This lack of understanding and action is hurting fish harvesters and coastal communities.
Uncontrolled seal populations threaten rebuilding our fish stocks. They threaten the sustainability of our fishing industry. They threaten the health of our ocean.
The federal government must immediately undertake a thorough and transparent scientific assessment of seal populations in Atlantic Canada. This updated assessment is the essential starting point to officially understanding and acknowledging the truth. It’s the first step in providing true environmental sustainability, and a clear path forward by federal government to act on these scientific findings.
It will take political courage to compel the federal government to stop pandering to self-serving, misguided groups that are preventing solutions. This political courage must start here.