Saturday September 19, 2015

Endangered Fish Species Missing the Safety Net

Porbeagle Shark - Endangered but not protected

Porbeagle Shark - Endangered but not protected (NOAA)

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A new report by Canadian scientists says that while Canada has well-intentioned policies for protecting endangered marine species, they simply aren't working. 

Dr. Julia Baum, a marine biologist from the University of Victoria, and her colleagues investigated how the two mechanisms meant to protect marine wildlife, the Species at Risk Act, and Fisheries & Oceans Canada's management plans, were working.  They discovered that they weren't working, thanks to a combination of bureaucratic delays, political indifference and abrogation of legal responsibilities, that left most species effectively unprotected. 

They found that once scientists had determined that species were endangered, there were years of delays before government would decide whether they would be protected under the law.  Frequently that protection would be denied, especially if there was any commercial interest in the species.  And even if they were designated for protection, the required conservation plans were not being made or implemented.

Related Links

- Paper in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries Management
Release from the Ecology Action Centre
CBC News story