Canadian fishers ‘vulnerable’

Posted Jan. 07, 2009, at 10:47 a.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 10:53 a.m.

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — A new study says Nova Scotia’s fishery is still reeling from past overfishing and has been left “vulnerable” to the global economic crisis as a result.

The report, by Nova Scotia-based research group GPI Atlantic, says the province’s fishing industry is less diverse than before and is relying more “on species lower in the food chain, notably lobster and other shellfish.”

GPI traces the changes to the overfishing of larger fish that depleted many of the province’s commercial stocks and led to the cod collapse in the 1990s.

The report says high prices for lobster and crab initially helped protect fishermen from the social and economic fallout of the collapse.

The report’s lead author, Tony Charles, says fishermen are struggling to make a living from the lobster fishery alone, especially as prices dip, but there are few other options because certain species have not recovered from overfishing.

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