NDP Calls on Conservative Government to Take Action on Marine Biodiversity

OTTAWA – NDP Fisheries and Oceans critic, Fin Donnelly (New Westminster-Coquitlam) and Deputy critic Phil Toone (Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine) are demanding that the government take action after the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel released their report today, “Sustaining Canadian Marine Biodiversity.”

“As countries around the world take action to deal with threats to the marine environment, the Conservatives are planning deep cuts to science, research and conservation in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans,” said Donnelly. “We are falling far short of progress made by most developed countries, yet this government is intent on gutting the department.”

Canada continues to lag behind when it comes to meeting national and international commitments to protect marine biodiversity and in the creation of Marine Protected Areas. The report also cites the government’s failure of the use of the precautionary principle with regards to the fisheries, inaction on climate change, the lack of recovery plans for overfished stocks as well as the negative impacts of aquaculture on the marine environment.

“The Conservative government is failing in fisheries management and marine protection,” said Toone. “As this government prepares to make major cuts to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, this damning report should serve as a wakeup call.”