New Fishing Laws In Canada Will Help Rebuild The Oceans And Restore Fish

“Today is a great day for our oceans."

Experts say the new Fisheries Act in Canada that became law last week will help rebuild and restore Canada's oceans.

The new Fisheries Act includes directives to rebuild depleted fish populations and also puts an end to the import and export of shark fins in Canada. Canada has the largest shoreline on the planet, some 150,000 miles long, and it is a global leader in fishery laws and practices.

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"Today is a great day for our oceans," Josh Laughren, the Executive Director of Oceana Canada, said. "The overhauled Fisheries Act has the potential to be one of the most transformative things that has happened for our oceans in many years... The Act now lays a strong foundation to support healthy oceans for generations to come."

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One of the must crucial parts of the bill is its mandate for the government to rebuild critically low fish stocks. The Canadian government is expected to lay out timeline for releasing its rebuilding plans. Peter Baker, who directs The Pew Charitable Trusts's work to conserve marine life in Atlantic Canada, said the hope is this bill will increase both the number of fish in the ocean and the number of fish available for consumers. 

Before the bill's passage, Canada had become one of the biggest importers of shark fins in the world, bringing in more than 300,000 pounds of shark fins a year, according to some estimates. The bill had overwhelming support from the Canadian public.

"This decision marks a sea change for the welfare and conservation of sharks and is a victory all Canadians can be proud of, " Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International Canada, told Sharkophile. "An estimated 100 million sharks are killed every year, largely for their fins, and Canada was a significant importer of shark fins. The extreme suffering of individual animals and the ecological devastation caused by this senseless practice is well documented. Our government has shown true leadership by responding to sound science and public will by ending Canada's role in this cruel trade."

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