Fisheries Act Changes With Dr. Brett Favaro

Canadian Fisheries Act Changes 2018


The Fisheries Act has been a crucial piece of legislation that has helped protect the Canadian aquatic environment for decades. The Act has been cumbersome to natural resource businesses as well. In 2012, the Canadian Government lead by then Prime Minister Stephen Harper changed the Fisheries Act to help the oil and gas industry build their pipelines faster to “help” the economy. The Act was left a gutted version of it’s former self until recently. 

The Canadian Government led by current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to change the Fisheries Act back to its original wording and to make it better. Scientists and Conservationists have been waiting a long time for this (since Trudeau became Prime Minister in 2015) to see the changes made. 

Last Tuesday, February 6, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Dominic LeBlanc, announced the new suggested changes for the Fisheries Act. I can say that Scientists are quite happy!!!

I asked Dr. Brett Favaro, who was involved in providing feedback during the process and has been tweeting up a storm on the new changes, to come on the show and tell us about the changes and give us his thoughts. 

Brett has some optimistic thoughts with some suggestions for some improvements. 


Note: The transcript is generated from an AI machine and may not be completely accurate.

[00:00:00] Welcome back. Welcome back. Welcome back to the speaker for blue podcast. It is interview Wednesdays and there couldn’t be a more important episode than today.

[00:00:12] And there’s a reason for that. Especially if you’re a Canadian especially if you love the oceans especially if you love the Canadian oceans and the Canadian waterways. Last Tuesday. There was The Choosey of this past Tuesday but last Tuesday there was a huge announcement on the recommendations are going to be put forward and reviewed by a panel of experts and stakeholders about the changes to the Canadian fisheries act. I’m going to go into it a little bit more into the proper introduction but this is what we’re going to talk about. And then of course I had to bring in somebody who loves policy who loves fishery science who loves fish loves Canadian oceans who loves climate change and that’s Brett Favaro Dr. Brett Favaro who is not only a scientist for unmoral university but and a professor at University. He’s also the author of the carbon code how you can become a climate change hero. He’s here today to tell us a little bit more about the changes that are going to be happening or potentially happening to the Fisheries Act. I just got. That’s how excited I am. I am so excited about this episode. This is something that’s really really important. I’m going to give you a quick interview and to give you the details before this is one for the conversation. This is an episode where you’re going to want to disgust for the people who have been waiting for this for a long time. Roy Moulder I’m going to call you a man I know you’ve been waiting for this. I want to hear your opinions on these changes.

[00:01:42] I really want to hear what you think what you think and everybody else who’s involved in policy whether it be in Canada or elsewhere and you look to these types of policies as well. I don’t know if it’s a benchmark or looking at comparing other policies. This is something that’s really important. David Shifman has written stuff on this. Ferraro has tweeted about it and has gone on multiple news agencies within North America to see you know what what’s to talk about what’s been going on. I’m so excited. I’m kind of flabbergasted right now but this is something exciting. So this is something we need to talk about in the group. So join the facebook group speak up for blue dot com forward slash group use your Facebook account request to join you can answer the optional questions if you choose. That’s why they’re optional of course. And then come in and talk. Let’s talk I’m going to probably do today in the Wednesday episode I’m probably going to do a live episode in our group. That’s another reason to join the group. I’m going live every day Monday to Friday I’m going to be going live in discussing various ocean topics bringing you in to interact if you choose so not sure what the times are yet just starting on that but Monday to Fridays we’re going to be going at it.

[00:02:51] So check out in the group. I’ll try and schedule them as much as possible. All right let’s get started with the show.

[00:02:57] If you were sick of hearing of the Dougie the ocean and not knowing what to do. You’re in the right place. You want to meet people working to protect the ocean then you’re in the right place if you want to find out how you can get involved in the right place. This is for podcast and I’m here to empower you to live a better life.

[00:03:24] Hey everybody welcome back to another exciting episode of the Speak Up For blue podcast. I’m your host Andrew Lewin founder speak up for blue dot com marine ecologist and self-proclaimed ocean partner and today is a very exciting day. Very exciting day because there’s so much going on within the world of the oceans especially in Canada and I’ve been I waited to discuss this on the podcast. This Fisheries Act business on the podcast because I knew I wanted to have another someone else to talk to about it and Brett’s been tweeting about it and been talking to multiple news agencies about it because he knows something about it he’s had he’s had. His name has been mentioned in the review papers and suggestions because he’s somebody who you want to listen to. When it comes to fisheries and I think that’s really important so we’re going to hear from him in just a minute. But before we do. I

[00:04:20] want to talk to you about the International Marine Conservation Congress. It’s happening. I’ve been talking about this ever since I went to the last International Marine Conservation Congress. Number four this is number five. It’s happening June 24th to the 29th this year in couching Borneo Malaysia. A very beautiful place. The reason why it’s happening there is to be more inclusive and to include another part of the world that doesn’t really have access to necessarily the normal areas where we have conferences like in North America or in Europe. We’re going there so that we can build our community build the International Marine Conservation Congress and the number of delegates and attendees and really build that community even more. This is a conference that is like no other conference. I mean I tell you that right now it’s something that I believe in is something I’m involved in and I’m happily involved in the sponsorship committee. And it’s the reason I am is because it brings everybody together.

[00:05:19] And when you come together like that and you have various back grounds is like professionally and culturally things happen. Good things happen great things happen in a lot of things have happened since the last AMCC for workers. There’s a lot of talk about gender equality within within science and conservation. There’s a lot of talk about citizen science that’s been happening there’s a lot of papers that came out in frontiers magazine and journal articles open access to there’s a lot of stuff happening groups that have been made products that have been created through that and it’s just wonderful. And today I’m going to play you a clip. Of our very own Nathan Johnson who has not been on the podcast in a while just because of schedule issues but he is very much looking forward to going to AMCC 5 and last year. Last time we had I am C4 I convinced him I wanted him to go. I’m euphoric. I thought it’d be a great opportunity for him not just because I think he’s a kickass scientist and he just does a really good job of what he does because he’s somebody who’s young and in his career early on in his career is a young guy. He needs to get out and network more. And he did so and not only did that he create some great colleagues and friendships and networks since then. And I think it’s helped him catapult him to his job where he’s at now at Oceana. So.

[00:06:44] Without further ado I want you guys to hear why Nathan Johnson thinks I am 65. Is the conference that you need to go to if you’re going to pick one. This is why you should go to AMCC 5.

[00:06:55] Here’s Nathan Dalton. Everyone it’s Nate from the speaker for blue podcast. I want to just take some time to give a quick pitch for the AMCC 5 or the International Marine Conservation Congress. It’s happening from June 24th to the 29th in including Sarawak Malaysia. This is the fifth International Marine Conservation Congress that the Society for Conservation Biology hosted. And it really brings together quite personally the widest variety of marine conservation people that I’ve ever seen under one roof. You have folks from academia from the NGO world private industry government have entrepreneurs writers science communicators marketers practitioners funders I can go on and on but people from so many different walks of life in so many different industries coming together all to discuss how we can better protect and manage our oceans. The first one that I attended was AMCC for in 2016. And I met some fantastic people folks who are now considered good friends. And it really helped me position my own career and helped me get to where I am professionally as well. So if any of this piques your interest definitely check out AMCC 5 on Twitter. Ill link you to the Web site which has information on the conference registration travel grants flight information all that good stuff. It’s definitely worth your time. See.

[00:08:15] See how good he is. Don’t you miss that voice. We’ll have monsoon I promise.

[00:08:19] But this is this is why you know why AMCC 5 is so important why International Marine Conservation Congress is so important and going to conference so important to network to build those relationships professionally. Maybe make some friendships out of it as well. But the idea is to really further the marine conservation field and that’s that’s why we go. That’s what we do. That’s what we do all this stuff for we work our butts off the people involved in all the different committees in the organization committee. And Dr. Hines who is a constant contributor here is also he’s also the chair of the organizing committee and he’s done a fantastic job of getting us off our butts and trying to do stuff for organizing this and it’s going to be an amazing conference and the abstracts are open. Go to AMCC five dot com to get access to the abstracts. All you have to do is write on the page to say submit an abstract if you want to go say your professional you’re a conservationist. You want to go there and you want your employer send you submit an abstract get accepted. This is going to be fun. Be creative. You can do it on a variety of different things. There’s like 75 or 74 different topics that you can apply to or that you can speak about. They’re speaking there’s workshops there’s all sorts of things you need to do this right now. Go to AMCC five dot com. I am CC C5 dot com. An Amazon below the words or the letter I am.

[00:09:45] CC dot com I am CC five dot com go there submit an abstract abstracts are open. I think the dates in March when it closes but do it now. So you get accepted quickly and you can make your travel arrangements for June.

[00:10:00] AMCC 5 dotcom.

[00:10:02] Thank you very much for listening to that little spot. All right let’s let’s talk about. The fish habitat the Fisheries Act.

[00:10:10] And fish habitat and fish in Canada.

[00:10:13] Now I didn’t get a chance to talk to Brett but Nightwing has talked for very long because he’s a very busy person. So we focused more on the changes.

[00:10:21] A little bit about the history but focus more on the changes right now I want to talk to you about the history of what happened so you know and a bit of it like the real history like back in the 70s. So Brett does go into it a little bit but what’s happened in the recent past so. Before the conservative government led by Stephen Harper got a majority the head of minority leadership for a while before they got a majority government. Or as they got a majority government. They made a change and what they did. They made a change in the Fisheries Act and what they did the way they did it really paid off a lot of people. What they do is they put in almost like a filibuster into the budget bill. Which gets voted anyway. It’s a majority government is going to get pass because the budget bill you can’t you don’t really not pass it. And they put in a change the Fisheries Act major changes to the Fisheries Act and a lot of it was due to and I’ve talked about the Vord but a lot of it was due to changes to that development for oil and gas industries and mining could happen faster. A lot of businesses were complaining that the environmental regulations were slowing down the process of getting business done and that very well very well might be true. But they were doing it. Because they didn’t want people to destroy the environment. That’s why the regulation wasn’t place.

[00:11:44] We wanted to. Yes we understand that natural resources are important in Canada and yes it’s important to the economy but is it that important for short term gain to destroy the long term nature and long term natural resources and long term environmental impacts. No it’s not worth it and that’s what can make that decision a long time ago. Until. Stephen Harper’s government came through. They essentially made these changes without. Consulting.

[00:12:14] The Department of Fisheries and Oceans or Fisheries and Oceans Canada. It was sort of we were all I was working for the CFO at that time. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans and it I just started with the. At that time right after this was done. And people in the department were pretty shocked. And angry. But mostly shocked of what had just gone down. And the changes that were coming you know the government environment Canada had just gone through major cuts. Now it was DFAC turn and people were getting cut. People were getting moved around the. So essentially what they did to the changes is instead of saying we are going to protect fish and fish habitat they’ve essentially said we’re. They took out fish habitat and they just said they’re going to make sure that there’s no serious harm that comes to fisheries that are commercially recreationally and aboriginals are important. That’s paraphrasing but that’s the gist of it. And there were some other changes as well. The idea was to ensure that these companies were able to do their development faster. So they didn’t have to go through all these quote unquote hurdles. And it’s been like that ever since. Now there have been a lot of you know there hasn’t been you know the whole country didn’t get destroyed in five or six years. But when the Liberals came back. When the Liberals got power. In their campaign they said they were going to bring the Fisheries Act back to what it was. And even better. So everybody was like This is great.

[00:13:41] They made environmental promises up the was. Some they promised the provinces they kept others they didn’t. But they were going to go crazy. And by the way just you know the conservative governor before that was actually going to gut the Species at Risk Act as well. They just didn’t get a chance to do it. And they think they had so much backlash from the Fisheries Act that they decided to put that on the backburner. So yes so essentially we had to endure. This. For about six seven years 2012 and it was done six years I guess. It felt like forever. And and you know this is what we had to go through. And then liberals came in and they said we’re going to change it. Now it’s been. They’ve got it voted in in 2015. It’s now 2018 and they took power in 2016. So you know it’s been two years. Give or take. And people have been getting you know scientists and people have been getting a little impatient in terms of one of the changes for the fisheries that are coming. Nobody believed the government. No we believe that it was going to happen and I don’t blame them because of how do we trust governments when they do stuff like they’ve done in the past. So.

[00:14:51] We you know we’ve been seeing a review panel created the review panel came out I think back in the in the summer or in the spring of 2017 we saw suggestions come back to say hey hey the review panel has consulted with a number of academics NGOs nonprofit organizations people with India EFO and we have seen what the people want. And this is what has been laid out and they had a whole document on what was laid out which was great. And it looked good looked like fish habitat was coming back. Stock assessment processes were coming back sharing of information. Data registry and all this kind of stuff was coming back. Great things are on the horizon. People still don’t believe that that was going to make it through. So now. This past Tuesday. A week ago. There was a release of information from DFO saying from the minister Leblon saying that fisheries minister Leblanc saying that. Here are the changes that are that are proposed. For the reading in the House of Commons so these are almost like the the final draft that still have to be reviewed by this panel. But this is the final draft that based on all the suggestions stuff this is going to be reviewed. This is the information that we cover with Brett today and his regret today. Now I must say when we kind of mentioned in an interview but I must reiterate this is not the final document that will be in the Fisheries Act. There will be some changes some that will be beneficial and some that may not be. And Bret on his Twitter said look guys this is not God and girls. This is not something that is done. We need to reiterate to our ministers to our members of parliament Zoll Canadians and people from out of country. We must rerate fish habitats important these changes are important.

[00:16:36] And there are certain things that Bret mentioned in this interview that I feel that should be assessed. Climate change is not anywhere in this Fisheries Act. And it probably should be. Biodiversity as well. So I don’t know if it’s not in there but we need to really assess biodiversity but at the end there’s a little bit of something that Bretts says it really makes sense. Now. I want you guys to think that this is not just a Fisheries Act has to be on paper. This is something that gets enforced on a daily basis with any kind of development whether it be a business residential development commercial development doesn’t matter. There’s always some kind of water body that’s affected. And in the past you know this regulation has actually prevented like wetlands from being ploughed mudflats from being taken away rivers from having deleterious substances like some type of poisonous substances for fish and everything that have been deposited into the rivers and whatnot sedimentation all that it protects it from all of that. And there’s certain process like ecological processes like biodiversity that we need to keep intact and that’s why I mentioned the Fisheries Act to keep it intact so that when things like climate change come by we don’t get screwed. Right those habitats don’t get ruined they’re not as vulnerable as they would have been if they didn’t have the biodiversity that they did. Right or the stability that they did. So. This is important this is so important is the one the most important thing environmentally that this government is going to be doing. Rather than putting a boatload of money into the marine realm.

[00:18:04] So I want you guys to listen carefully. I want you guys to go to the Facebook group speak up for blue dot com for select group and comment on what Brett says. Comment on the Fisheries Act comment on just policies in general we know policies work I’ve talked about how in the states policies fisheries policies and marine mammal policies have actually worked to bring back the Great White the endangered Great White sharks are into bringing back bunch of marine mammals sea lions grey seals shark helps protects hammerhead sharks all these types of things. This is what we need to do we need to really focus on these policies are very very important policies and the wording really matters and we talk about that with Brett. So I want you guys to understand that I really do and I want you guys to listen carefully. This is a very important episode and I want you guys to comment speak up for a blue dot com for its lush group. Here’s the interview with Brett.

[00:18:57] Talk to you after hey welcome to speak up for blue podcasts.

[00:19:08] Are you ready to talk about some ocean conservation.

[00:19:12] I am ready to nerd out on fisheries policy.

[00:19:16] I love it I love it. This has been something that I think you and I and the rest of Canada have been waiting on for a long time I guess it’s been. Maybe more than eight years since the last Fisheries Act has changed and change for what I think you and I agree for the worst of what it was. It wasn’t perfect before but it definitely got worse in terms of what it changed and I talked about it in the intro what the changes were so we’re not going to go into that too much because we’re a little pressed for time but what because I really want to dive into what are the proposed changes and what are the benefits of this. What have been the benefits for you as an academic and just as a Canadian citizen to see how these changes have gone through or how these changes have progressed at this point in time. So why don’t you start with just what’s been going on what good news hit this this week that has been so big.

[00:20:13] So what happened this week. On Tuesday the Liberal government unveiled their bill which is a bill to change the Fisheries Act to censure to make amendments to the Fisheries Act now in Canada the Fisheries Act as our fisheries law that is described as the oldest environmental law in Canada. I think it came into effect originally right when we became Federation happened so right when Canada sort of became what we now see as a country. Of course Canada is a place for people existed long long long before that millennia before that a sort of Western construct of Canada as a country right. The fisheries are the sort of modern version of the Fisheries Act came into effect in the 1970s and that’s where all this language about protecting habitat really started to come into effect. That’s where and you can actually go back to the original debates the House of Commons type by Romeo LeBlanc which is actually trivia I was the father of the current fisheries and that’s also got some really eloquent passages in there about the importance of I forget the exact wording but it was basically about like those muddy areas that get your boots dirty. People don’t see the value and are actually tremendously valuable to the fish to ecosystems and then ultimately the people officials. So he got it back that Parliament got it and so they added this to the law and that’s been the law of the land since the 70s.

[00:21:44] In 2012 what happened was the government at the time decided no this all needs to change and so there is essentially a bunch of reworded section so that it became less universal and only really applied if people targeted those fish so that fish habitat wasn’t protected by default and there was all sorts of bites and maybes and all sorts of things that were out there that really muddy that what used to be a very clear statement that you need fish habitat to have fish right. Absolutely. So that’s where we were. Fast forward to Tuesday and actually I should I should take a moment and reflect on the fact that in 2012 those changes were proposed and they were passed. This prompted a national Yeah this was part of that deathbed Binion’s rally. This was one of the big moments for people realize this is a problem for fisheries ministers federal fisheries ministers from both parties from the Liberals and the conservatives in the past to. The Progressive Conservatives mind you all wrote a joint letter saying this was unacceptable. Career biologist scientist. This wasn’t just a hippie leftwing thing. This was right uniform opposition to these two these changes.

[00:22:59] And I think also just just to interrupt a little bit. But I think also what I noticed too was the fact that it was the thing that really got people angry is they didn’t even consult with their own fisheries and oceans department. That was completely ignored. It was. It was it was kind of like hit us. It was like a slap in the face as well.

[00:23:17] Well this is where you know I have to be a little bit careful because I do work for you know I was a grad student at the time so I was I was a grad student coming up. I was also relatively new to science Yeah I guess you could argue actually hitting the 10th year of my career as a scientist if you start the clock when I first congratulations. So anyway I was very very new and I just remember I was actually on a hike in Australia with my Ph.D. supervisor and we were talking about this. He said you know what can we do from here to help inform this conversation. That’s what got me involved in policy research. So we started not to belabor the point but we looked at some of the justifications they use for using projections. It was overprotecting and we didn’t write any evidence on that right. You know that became a bit in the news for a couple days there and. Anyway so this sustained effort the entire scientific community all sorts of different groups over the years were saying oh we need to fix this we need to fix this. We don’t see troubles yet we’re going to see troubles because it takes time for there to be a response to nature to a change in policy. Right. You know so we need to get on this. Fast forward to Tuesday. The changes included a full restoration and in fact in some ways an extension of the requirement to protect fish habitat.

[00:24:33] Which is amazing. That is something that we’ve been waiting for impatiently I think many of us have been waiting for to see it back. Now let’s go over some of the things that that you like. You had on your Twitter feed that and that’s what made me to to contact you in a lot of other people in Newfoundland have contact you to get your opinions on them or just to kind of inform people on this.

[00:24:55] But what specifically has has been the changes I’ve noticed a few but I wanted to see what you noticed the changes range from landmark changes like restoring habitat protection. That’s probably the marquee one and it sounded like what the minister ended his speech about it he was talking about increasing funding for because of course you can’t just say that it’s illegal you also have to have enforcement you have to have people tasked with helping to do the restoration of that type of thing. So that was probably the one. Sort of a policy. One of the ones who got me excited that they committed to putting into the law a registry that contained a registry associated with the Fisheries Act. And that’s something that is one of those things that people don’t realize how important it can be and if done well this could really change one of the big problems in Canada which is it’s really hard to get paid on fisheries when we have these arguments for example when people said the Fisheries Act overprotected you couldn’t go anywhere and find any information really about how much protection is happening is isn’t it what does it cost right this type of thing. So this data registry.

[00:26:00] You know I bet the devil can be in the details how they actually do it for sure but on the surface this could greatly streamline people’s access to data and the ability of people that approach conservation and say Are we can serviettes people to be frank that are anti conservation yet you want to look at it and maybe they want to see if we’re going too far and this would allow all sides to actually go and have a have real information when they’re making these discussions.

[00:26:30] For sure. I mean that’s that’s something that I’ve always been a proponent about. My masters actually included using Fishery stock data out east and we were able to get it because my adviser taught the person in charge of holding the data but that was one of the reasons why we got to put it was publicly available data. But the problem was the setup back then was it was you know one person looking after managing the data they’re busy just with managing the data and collecting the data. They didn’t have time to sort of fulfil contact or fill in like information for people to get the information even though they tried. They wanted to. They just didn’t physically have the time enough time during the day to actually do that and now to have this registry even to see what’s available and all that stuff I think that’s that’s that’s really important.

[00:27:16] The thing is we’re gumming up access to information that process so so sometimes people have to file in other countries because the Freedom of Information Act we use a law to unlock Ada that there’s no issue with releasing it it’s not like they have to slice you have to go through that process because you know the rank and file of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and they don’t want to make a mistake. They don’t want to put out data they should put out for show or using that lot sort of protects them to assist them for this. You know we’re not fooling around with this stuff it’s so much cheaper to administer so much easier to assess it’s just going to be great. So that’s that’s one of the things where it’s like you wouldn’t come to mind is a major change but it actually actually sort of is also housekeeping changes which I don’t mean to play down the importance of it is important. The Minister now can be male or female when you read it or it’s not like that kind of stuff. I would say that report. Right now they’re eating up a lot of stuff like that.

[00:28:12] Yeah. And I appreciate I even saw one thing on there which I didn’t even know if it was in there before or not but it said that people is important to the audience because we’re were always looking at it but it says that whoever is in charge of fisheries they can’t actually collect cetaceans. For. Captivity which is interesting because one marine mammal. Really a fish it’s in the Fisheries Act but I understand why those things have come in and with everything that’s happened with the Vancouver Aquarium and it really is happening around the world in terms of you know you know marine mammals in captivity. Now it looks like you cannot in Canada you cannot collect marine mammals for captivity unless the Minister gives permission.

[00:28:50] So this is this is true. If I think I’m right about that I think I saw caddied at there most of the stuff in this law has a major major Tabea and that is in the opinion of the minister if the minister was a minister may and you see this over and over and over again right. In fact one of my main concerns actually goes through a law is in the area of rebuilding. So let me start with the positive. There’s no language in there about rebuilding fish stocks that the Minister should consider what’s being done if a stock is really depleted they should consider taking action to rebuild the stocks supposedly so that’s good to have the current rebuild which is actually not in the previous fishery right at a crazy white control effort trying to fight wasn’t there right to have that word. But. It’s one of these things if Emil Pain the minister the stock is depleted then they may look at things that might be getting there’s all these maize bites. Yeah. As a fisheries person I think if a stock is below the limit reference point which means it’s very depleted. It should be full stop. The minister must say yes.

[00:29:57] Now I understand in Canada it’s not always that easy to have a word like that because I understand there’s an I don’t know the legal ins and outs of it but there’s you know ministers have to have discretion and you know I don’t understand how that works but I’m just saying as a biologist looking at yeah it would be nice to be lost for sure because you know this is what’s happened in the past as you know that there are major projects that happen that are as you know quote unquote good for the country and the minister has to make the Minister’s office has to make that decision whether you know they go against the Fisheries Act and have to make some exceptions and I think that’s very important that you highlighted that because we don’t normally see that usually when we see these types of things we ignore that in the opinion of the minister or the Minister’s right to do this or whatever that kind of language is very important to kind of this is our way. You know we don’t necessarily have to have that.

[00:30:48] So I think that is something that we definitely have to be careful on and some of that’s important like you know rigidity is not always a good thing. Yeah you know if we take the stations example I’m sure that if there is one that got run over by a boat or something it was bleeding out there be some sort of ability for the minister that issued in order to go and capture it. I don’t know how Mr gossipers opaque. I think that’s what that’s for what it was. There was. Some additional language on aquatic invasive species so I think there’s a lot of stuff in there about additional powers to make regulations. So this discretion can be. So if there’s a crisis of some sort books like I’m interpreting it correctly the minister can go in and just make regulations round things so whether there’s something right whales getting you know wallet’s left and right. Or a fishery that collapse fairly quickly or you know an invasion that needs immediate mitigation it looks like there’s new things that they can do more quickly when that happens naturally. Well. Yeah I completely agree now with the the wording before now and I don’t know I’m paraphrasing a little bit the wording before these changes sort of have been proposed was the major one was protection of fisheries that are commercially recreationally and Aboriginally important too I guess I guess to Canada and to Canadian waters.

[00:32:11] That is that completely out. Have they changed that then in terms of bringing back the fish and fish habitat. So that the way it was worded before was that.

[00:32:22] There was a term called serious harm. Right. And it was serious harm to fish and I just open it up here to the commercial recreational or Aboriginal fishery or that supports such a fishery. So it was still a pretty broad wording but again you can imagine in court you’re fighting you know you’ve got a bunch of lawyers on both sides and one set of lawyers is trying to say get this fish we don’t fish it directly but it is important because it’s part of the diet and another one gets out and so on of course court because while it’s in the ecosystem the fish doesn’t directly eat it. So the court has to figure out the risks of this fish benefit as other fish that were actually fish. I just imagine that being a productive discussion.

[00:33:04] Oh it’s not because it all comes down to who can make the argument the best is not about what’s best interest for the environment or for the people who use that environment.

[00:33:11] I mean I think it just complexity of ecosystems just you know how hard it is to and I don’t mean to sort of go off the deep end here but to empathize with a fish like to try to stop that fishes shoes and imagine you know when your world is different when you live in water if you live in a stream or something you know you you sense things differently than we do as humans do. Yes the movement of the water the temperature the smells in it. You’re you’re things that you’re eating like as humans looking at that we just have no idea like it’s so hard. Aside from. You know it’s hard enough to really be certain about what to eat. Like think of the whole field of doing stable isotope analysis or look in gut contents to figure out what things actually eat those are problematic how can we say with certainty that any given fish the ecosystem actually has no impact whatsoever on this fish that we’re targeting maybe a 5 percent impact. Yeah I percent. Doesn’t matter when things are good but then climate change comes in. And now that 5 percent is you know so that’s a huge problem because they raised the limit anyway right. Yeah that’s why is ecologists fall I just get this thing out the window. If it’s fish habitat. Protect it manage it and then you’ll have fish everywhere.

[00:34:23] I feel like for ecologists and biologists. Fishery biologist we see it as it’s more of a straight case it’s an easy case to put back in and I’ve always said that I’ve had three debates with people like look they’re gonna put it back in because this government believes in that they want to go back to what was normal and they’re doing this process which has taken a long time to do. But it’s it’s it’s easy for us to do it but of course in the law aside which neither of us are probably qualified to to sort of go into but it becomes more difficult in the policy side it becomes a little bit more tricky because it has to do with wording just as we mentioned earlier and it becomes a little difficult in that respect but I think that’s something that you know we have to get our heads around as scientists and work with lawmakers and environmental lawyers and organizations such as that to actually go ahead and help out. But these these changes here. They’re not said and done right. This is just this is just like so that the process was they added they did a review. They got a bunch of input from academics nonprofit organizations NGOs scientists. You were part of that as well. I remember seeing your name in the document in terms of what you suggested which is really great to see.

[00:35:43] And there were some really good suggestions so now I assume that from those suggestions the sort of the final proposal is this this what came out Tuesday and that is what’s going to be discussed in the House of Commons is that is that sort of what I’m thinking.

[00:35:59] Yeah I mean there’s even steps before that because the 2012 changes to the Fisheries Act were were studied as part of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. So the way that it works in Canada is you’ve got all these committees within the House of Commons the specialist group that studies things and this group that studies Fisheries and Oceans themselves to perform a review of the 2012 changes to the Fisheries Act what people thought about it before it gets right and they produced a report and that report bald like you mentioned by testimony that there a whole bunch of people that came in and testified right in the House of Commons. Yeah. And and you know so then you got this report. I mean the government respond to the report because of course the committee itself is a multi partisan committee so that may the government the minister right to respond to the recommendations that that committee made. And it was a very rewarding process because the various things that you know that I certainly had put in and I didn’t work in a vacuum like you know there’s loads and loads of other people that committed has set up as well. But it was. We actually saw that there was a recommendation made by the Senate and the government to do it and now with this bill you’re seeing that some of the things are actually going to get thought. Absolutely right now. My understanding is the bill has to get studied again by the committee so that they actually study the bill. There will likely be changes.

[00:37:17] Some of those will be small and some will be debated and that’s the past three readings in the House has to go through the Senate as well for procedural. So this is not going to happen tomorrow and I would caution my peers to not do a victory lap just yet. Yeah yeah. This was this was a good thing to see but it’s not yet right. So you know it’s going to be important to continue voicing about this writing peace keeping that pressure up. Absolutely critical.

[00:37:47] Yeah I know I completely agree and I think that’s why I want to get across to our audience is this is still part of the process. They have to and they have to make it. Take a while because to think about the decision these are very important decisions that they’re putting together. We’d like to see these get implemented of course but we still have to put a little bit of pressure to make sure that say hey like local your go to your local MP If you’re Canadian even if you’re from out of country and just look up there and be like hey let’s is really important because this could set a standard like the Fisheries Act before the all these other changes came through were pretty much a precedent for a lot of other countries to look at. It was we were a leader in this type of environmental regulation. It was like I said before it wasn’t perfect but it was a good regulation to go on. And it allowed less changes to happen. So I think that’s something that’s really important that we need to do in the future and I think that’s that’s really good. One question that I have before I came up before we did this interview I went on a live in our Facebook group and I asked people if they had any questions. Now this question is from Rachel Rachel reeler who’s who’s really great in our group and she’s interested in hearing more about the inclusion of indigenous traditional knowledge in the Fisheries Act and how that impacts impacts their cultural rights.

[00:39:02] Now before I ice I give you that question I was going to say and I know you said on Twitter before with people asking you you and I are not qualified to answer sort of this question on indigenous people we are not indigenous peoples. We I know I don’t know a lot of people in that space. So it’s not really good for us to really answer that. From a from a cultural standpoint however did you see any kind of language in the act that you reviewed that had to do with indigenous peoples that were maybe different from before.

[00:39:32] One thing that was interesting is that there are some new and you’re absolutely right by the way. Yes. I don’t know. Again the indigenous people are the ones who speak about whether they’re happy with what it says or not. From a technical standpoint there was some interesting wording in there about this issue of providing information. So I don’t really know what the implications of this are but there was a passage that said that. Essentially if the minister believes that you know something important you have important information about the fishery. They can sort of and I don’t know to what extent they can compel you to give it or they will just ask for it or whatever. So for you and I like if I went there study had data that was really important and I was doing it for some reason and they can say look you’ve got to give me the state I give you an experimental licence you got to go you tell me right this is right it’s critical the experimental license probably a bad example because you and I know what you mean. Yeah but you asked me for information. My read is that probably is meant to target like big fishing companies. They have to release their catch data if they want it sort of at a granular level. So I don’t know that there are there right after it and says. If you’re an indigenous group this information will be kept completely confidential. And I was reading some stuff about this.

[00:40:49] I mean the thing is their knowledge is very different it’s trouble it’s it’s yeah it’s protected and you can imagine if they were compelled to release information that you know you could get hunters coming and about. So there was some language about that. So there definitely is a different sort of level being given to that type of information which I think is definitely very important to his knowledge.

[00:41:12] Absolutely and I think you know with this question talking about traditional ecological knowledge it’s very important in policies and social science and how we actually go ahead and do marine protected areas or marine planning in general. I think it’s really important would be interesting to see if if that type of information is now in the regulation itself because now more it’s more of it’s a thing that we need to do. I think I think a lot of biologists ecologists and planners understand that. I think now is going to be interesting to see if it’s actually in an act or not but that’s it that’s a very interesting point where they don’t have to like they can keep it confidential their information because I’m not I’m not clear if they can withhold the information want.

[00:41:52] I’m not certain about this as the press is given it will be kept confidential. So I gotcha. Right.

[00:41:59] So it’s more of a privacy privacy or public knowledge them you of it more of a trust between the Government and Indigenous indigenous peoples. That’s interesting. Like I’d like to see that kind of stuff. Anyway that’s all for the question for the group only. I only gave them a half hour and that’s actually anyway but I want to thank you very much for coming on I know you’ve been doing a lot of these types of things and you are pressed for time and I want thank you for coming on it and just being being so helpful and being so knowledgeable about this. If you don’t like to make one final shout out to climate change yeah that’s something that is not the Fisheries Act on Climate Change never shows up but it is a bit of an elephant room with all this and what it does is it reduces our ability to get things wrong.

[00:42:44] Because if you know from this habitat a lot of times the thing that we need to do to benefit climate is also the thing that we need to do to benefit biodiversity oftentimes think you know things like maintaining intact aquatic ecosystems not bulldozing wetlands. These are your flood control barriers right. True. So a lot of stuff that benefits the fishery has got better bottom line down the road. And so I just want to remind the audience that there is this intersection between climate change and fisheries policy that’s really important to bear in mind. So that’s why it’s extraordinary. This right. I just want to make sure people keep that in mind think about this.

[00:43:21] I agree I think that’s a great point because when we talk about the Fisheries Act a lot of times we’re talking about a regulation that’s implemented a lot of times when development is happening or something is happening where things are altered and or or they’re the they are prevented from being altered. If they if that regulation wasn’t in place and that’s where you like you said biodiversity is really important if you don’t keep maintain biodiversity. Habitats are vulnerable more vulnerable to things like climate change and other like eutrophication things like that. So I think that’s really important to consider and I appreciate you for making that link because that’s that’s that’s really that’s really important. So anyway thank you very much. This has been wonderful I really appreciate it. This is the first time we’ve done a video to show this is kind of cool so they will post. Who knows what I want. I want to thank you very much for coming on and you know giving us your time. I know it’s really really valuable and really really busy right now so I definitely appreciate.

[00:44:14] Thanks for having me.

[00:44:24] All right thank you Brett for Favaro for coming on and explaining all the changes some of the changes really import ones that need to be addressed need to be talked about and I think that’s something that we are going to see. We are going to see that’s going to benefit our environment that’s going to make sure that we are sustainable that’s going to make sure that we can have fisheries that are not going to be overfished. Right. But there are still a lot of changes and a lot of enforcement that needs to be put in place. There’s still needs to be a lot of addressed issues like climate change we need to protect biodiversity but this is these are the policies these are the regulations where this happened. So it’s very important that we all get involved in making sure that talked about making sure that we are discussing these types of things and Brett definitely started the conversation on this podcast and I appreciate that. So I want to thank you guys very much for listening to the podcast go to the Facebook group speak up for blue dot com for its last group if you’re not already part of it. Use your Facebook account request to join.

[00:45:23] Answer the optional optional questions if you want and then come on in and less discuss by the way I’m also going to do a live show on this today and tomorrow why answer some questions as well and maybe on Friday to see what you guys have what are you guys what do you guys think about all this kind of stuff so this is very important that we’ll open up the questions if you want to take part in that go to speak up for blue group. Don’t forget if you love this podcast you want to support it. You can go to speak up for blue dot com for Slash patriotic aureole and you can do a monthly contribution to our podcast and help us out any any amount really helps. So thank you very much for listening. I really appreciate you guys being here and listening. Each and every day this is something that I’m very passionate about. I think it’s very important to discuss ocean issues whether you’re from Canada or from the US where you from the UK Australia anywhere else it doesn’t matter. This is where we get the conversation done. This is how we protect our ocean. Thank you very much for joining joining us. I’m your host Angela.

[00:46:25] Happy conservation.

Enjoy the Podcast!!!

Check Out The Speak Up For Blue Podcast on One Of These Channels:
Sound Cloud:

If you are interested in creating a podcast for your conservation organization or social enterprise, then connect with me for my podcasting services so I can help you get started and connect with your audience. Email me at

Are you looking to start off your Marine Science and Conservation Career, but don’t know where to begin or it hasn’t gone the way you expected to? Join us on our next Marine Conservation Career Q&A. All you need to do is contribute at least $1/month to our Patreon Campaign to attend:Contribute to our Patreon Campaign

Don’t forget to join our Speak Up For Blue Facebook Group to join like-minded individuals who are all about living for a better Ocean. Join our Facebook Group for the Podcast.

Check Out These Similar Posts