SOURCE: Oceana Canada

Oceana Canada

October 25, 2016 07:00 ET

Leading Canadian experts to address the critical state of our oceans

OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - October 25, 2016) - The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard; Alexandra Cousteau, globally recognized explorer, filmmaker and Senior Oceana Advisor; and Sam Waterston, renowned actor and Oceana board member will join a stellar lineup of fisheries experts at Oceana Canada's symposium, Rebuilding Abundance: Restoring Canada's Fisheries for Long-Term Prosperity at Ottawa's Westin Hotel on October 26, 2016.

According to recent reports from the Auditor General and Oceana Canada, Canada's fishing industry is performing well below its potential, which is a threat to our communities, economy and environment. Oceana Canada's report found that less than 24 per cent of Canadian fish populations can be considered healthy, the health of 45 per cent is unknown, and the government lacks key information needed to recover and protect our oceans.

"We are encouraged by recent federal government commitments, backed by increased funding, to improving fisheries management, oceans science and conservation. By speaking at the symposium and joining the conversation, Minister LeBlanc is showing his commitment to developing a solution, and this needs to be followed by action," says Josh Laughren, Executive Director, Oceana Canada. "Recovery is possible, once we stop overfishing, implement responsible management practices and make evidence-based decisions."

In 2015, Canada's seafood industry was worth $6 billion and at least 79,000 Canadians are directly or indirectly employed by the fishing industry. However, a large proportion of Canada's fisheries have been in a state of collapse for decades. Today's symposium brings together Canadian and international experts in science, management, policy, law, social equity, economics and Indigenous knowledge systems to chart a new course for Canada's oceans and create a sustainable future for our fisheries.

"The current state of Canada's fisheries puts communities and industries at risk," says Laughren. "Rebuilding plans for depleted fisheries, based on science, are crucial to restoring abundance in our oceans and strengthening a resource that has supported Canadians for more than a century."

For more information on the symposium, including the full program and roster of experts, please visit oceana.ca/RebuildingAbundance.

About Oceana Canada

Oceana Canada was established in 2015 as an independent charity and is part of the largest international group dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Canada has the longest coastline in the world, with an ocean surface area of 7.1 million square kilometres, or 70 per cent of its landmass. Oceana Canada believes that we have an obligation to our country, and the world, to manage our natural resources responsibly and provide a sustainable source of protein for a growing world.

Oceana Canada works with civil society, academics, fishers and government to return Canada's formerly vibrant oceans to health and abundance. By restoring Canada's oceans, we can strengthen our communities, reap greater economic and nutritional benefits, and protect our future. To learn more, please visit www.oceana.ca.

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