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emerging risks briefing

fishing

Fishing under pressure in canada, the shing industry remains under continuous regulatory and nancial pressure.

Ongoing requests for larger catch quotas from

  • sherman are carefully balanced by the federal

government’s policies to prevent over-shing to preserve the long-term viability of the industry.

however, as populations grow so do demands for food and on the environment.The economic incentive to cater for these demands has created an increasingly globalised industry utilising increasingly efcient technology to catch sh.

livelihoods of shermen depend on a sustainable industry and it is also in the interests of businesses, insurers and more broadly our world economy and society as a whole.

Approaches to safeguard the industry On the canadian west coast, depending upon estimations of the salmon run, the department of fisheries (dfO) will decide on the number of days commercial shermen and indigenous peoples are allowed to sh.

Over the past 20 years this“quota systemhas had a major impact on the shing industry.The newfoundland cod fish moratorium in 1992 shut down cod sheries, due to the stocks nearing extinction, with 30,000 people losing their livelihoods. more recently, the fraser river (british colombia) was closed in 2008 to salmon shing due to collapsing stocks.The exact cause of declining sh stocks is uncertain but key factors include warmer temperatures, declining food supplies and the impact of sea lice from aquaculture. furthermore, seals are a major predator to sh stocks and partly because of the european Union ban on seal products, the seal population in atlantic canada has doubled over the last 40 years.

Unexpected consequences These policies have unfortunately had unintended and unexpected consequences.as cod stocks collapsed, crab and shrimps ourished with no natural predators and the shing industry changed their focus to these species. however, in 2003 the crab shery in nova scotia and parts of newfoundland began to decline. quotas were decreased resulting in fewer catches thereby increasing nancial pressure on shermen.

similarly, in april 2010 shrimp quotas in newfoundland were reduced because of declining stocks.as a result, shrimp landings were down 30.1% from 2008 to last year.

from an insurance perspective declining stocks puts severe nancial pressure on the industry.This has meant that some shermen are not completing the necessary maintenance to their vessels or choosing to save the cost in insurance premiums and simply not buying cover.This puts increased pressure on public and governing bodies to subsidise the lost revenue.

© isTOckphOTO.cOm

emerging risks briefing

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