Canada facing pressure at home and aboard over porbeagle fishing

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HALIFAX -- The Halifax-based Ecology Action Centre is turning up the pressure on Acting Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea in hopes her department will stop blocking efforts to ban the fishing of porbeagle sharks.

The porbeagle, or mackerel shark, is listed as an endangered species.

The EAC points to Canada’s own predictions that, even without fishing activity it will take decades for the porbeagle’s population to recover. With continued fishing activity in Canada, the EAC maintains, it could take more than 100 years for stocks to recover.

Canada, the EAC points out, has isolated itself at the International Committee on the Conservation Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) as the only one of the 48-member ICCAT countries to oppose the ban.

“People are embarrassed that Canada is once again being uncooperative on the international stage and outraged that this government seems to constantly be pursuing profits without concern for maintaining the health of our resources those profits depend on,” commented Shannon Arnold Marine Program Coordinator at EAC in Halifax. She reports that 14,000 people have sent Shea letters expressing their outrage.

The EAC is the only Canadian civil society group granted official status to participate in the ICCAT discussions taking place in Morocco November 12 to 19.

Organizations: Ecology Action Centre, ICCAT, International Committee on the Conservation Atlantic Tunas

Geographic location: Canada, HALIFAX, Morocco

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