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Sea Has Many Voices

Sea Has Many Voices: Oceans Policy for a Complex World

Copyright Date: 1994
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    Sea Has Many Voices
    Book Description:

    Each chapter describes the dynamics or tensions within a specific marine sector or policy community. Collectively, the contributors raise critical questions about the process, structure, and function of Canadian oceans policy, covering topics such as the Atlantic fishery, conservation, ocean science and technology, shipping, aboriginal rights, defence, and pollution. The book conveys a cautiously optimistic message: although Canada does not yet have a comprehensive oceans policy, there is growing evidence that the problem, policy, and political streams are converging. Canada must be ready to respond to this policy opportunity with clear objectives and appropriate program elements that mediate between competing interests and conflicting values. Those who construct Canada's oceans policy must be capable of calculating risks and challenging the status quo to create a workable, sustainable framework for oceans governance in our increasingly complex world.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6425-1
    Subjects: Aquatic Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    Robert Fournier

    The oceans cover nearly three-quarters of the earthʹs surface and they have been at the centre of human development for the past two thousand years. As a source of food, the oceans have provided such bounty that the early development of many nations, including Canada, was characterized by the founding of coastal colonies. The oceans were the ʺhighwayʺ that linked these first settlements, providing the means for trade and the opportunity for exploration. They were also the battleground upon which territorial disputes were fought. Throughout history, having control over the high seas has been the mark of a nationʹs military...

  5. INTRODUCTION: Oceans Policy for a Complex World
    (pp. 3-10)

    Policy making has been defined as the ʺprocess of transformation which turns political inputs into political outputsʺ (Schoettle in OʹRiordan 1981, 241). Most studies of oceans policy making are reconstructive; that is, they look backwards from policy initiatives to identify and analyse inputs: ʺWe know most about the output stage of ocean policy in all slates surveyed. We know much less about input to ocean policy, and least about the process by which ocean policy is madeʺ (Friedheim 1981, 283).

    The Sea Has Many Voicesfocuses on policy making from the input side because the subject matter, Canadian oceans policy,...


    • [PART ONE Introduction]
      (pp. 11-12)

      The oceans are vital to Canadaʹs economy. In 1988, at least $8 billion was earned by 140,000 Canadians working in ocean-related jobs. The commercial fisheries dominate the ocean economy, contributing $2.4 billion, or thirty percent of the sectorʹs total output. Aquacultural production was valued at $50 million in 1987 and this figure is expected to double within a decade. Seven million sports fishermen spent $4.7 billion on related goods and services in 1985.

      The value of foreign trade by Canadian marine carriers operating approximately two thousand vessels is substantial. Gross revenues for 1984 were $2.3 billion, 28.75 percent of sector...

    • CHAPTER ONE Resource Crisis: The Struggle in the Atlantic Fishery
      (pp. 13-32)

      The offshore fishing industry faces perhaps its toughest challenge ever. Offshore operators must find a way to adjust to a new climate, one in which there is no longer a seemingly endless supply of fish. In fact, what now exists is a hostile environment where often the survival of the fittest is a matter of who has the loudest voice. For any fishery to operate successfully, it must have access to fish.

      A decline in available groundfish resources in the Northwest Atlantic poses a serious threat to the future of the existing fishery. By extending its fisheries jurisdiction to two...

    • CHAPTER TWO Aquaculture: Canada’s Cinderella Ocean-Resource Industry?
      (pp. 33-52)

      Aquaculture, the commercial cultivation and husbandry of aquatic flora and fauna, is one of the growth industries of the 1980s and 1990s, accounting for twelve percent by weight, and considerably more by value, of the annual total world aquatic harvest (Food and Agriculture Organization [fao] 1989). In comparison with conventional capture methods of fishing, aquaculture affords the benefits of reduced energy costs, economic profitability, quality and production control, and efficiency of water-space utilization for biological production.

      Although commercial aquaculture has been profitable in many other countries for several decades, the application of cultivation technologies to Canadaʹs renewable aquatic resources had...

    • CHAPTER THREE Atlantic Salmon: Recreational versus Commercial Interests
      (pp. 53-68)

      This chapter addresses the evolution of Canadian fishery-management policy with respect to the Atlantic salmon,Salmo salar. It describes current management initiatives and conflicts between competing resource interest groups, and illustrates the complexity of salmon management through the concerns of recreational and commercial fishermen, native peoples, provincial governments, and the federal government, the ultimate authority for fisheries decision making. Finally, the chapter describes a cooperative project between the federal government and the Nova Scotia Salmon Association, to show that partnerships can be forged between resource stakeholders when commitment to common, long-term goals, such as resource sustainability, takes precedence over sector-specific...

    • CHAPTER FOUR Competitive Edges: The Politics of Ports and Shipping
      (pp. 69-88)

      Canada has the worldʹs longest coastline adjoining three of the worldʹs four largest oceans. To the south, the massive Great Lakes/St Lawrence Seaway System (gl/slss) stretches 3,840 km into the continent. Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Vancouver Island, and much of the Arctic rely heavily on marine transportation as a primary means of access; shipping and ports are fundamental to this transport system. In addition, since Canada is one of the worldʹs primary producers of bulk commodities, shipping and ports play a key role in the countryʹs domestic and international trade.

      Canada spends proportionally more on transportation than any other industrialized...

    • CHAPTER FIVE The Eight-Billion-Dollar Question: Nuclear Submarines and Maritime Defence Policy
      (pp. 89-104)

      On 26 April 1989, the federal government announced that it was cancelling its previous decision to acquire a fleet of nuclear submarines, estimated to cost approximately eight billion dollars. The Canadian defence establishment was stunned. The case for the submarines, which were intended for the policing and guarding of extensive sections of Canadaʹs three contiguous oceans, still stood. Moreover, the 1987 White Paper,Challenge and Commitment: A Defence Policy for Canada, which outlined the nuclear-submarine program, remained as government policy. Hence the decision to cancel the program seemed paradoxical.

      Historically, Canadian defence policy was shaped by the countryʹs imperial past....

    • CHAPTER SIX Techtronics: Canada’s Ocean-Science Industries
      (pp. 105-122)

      Somewhere along Canadaʹs lengthy coast, technology is at work. Silently, unnoticed by passing mariners because it is some three hundred metres below the surface, a Canadian-designed and -manufactured current meter is dutifully recording data on movements of the mass of water that constitutes one of the earthʹs most hostile natural environments for research. At such depths scientific instruments and equipment are subjected to extreme conditions: a corrosive medium, crushing pressures from the water column above, and a remoteness that defies easy access should problems occur.

      On land, the small group of companies that manufacture high-tech equipment or provide professional consulting...


    • [PART TWO Introduction]
      (pp. 123-124)

      The people who live on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans have vested interests in preserving and protecting the resources they derive their livelihood from and pattern their social and family lives around. The profound influence of the sea on coastal community life has been studied by academics and reflected upon by writers and artists. But the careers of many planners, bureaucrats, and politicians have been stymied because of their inability to understand the special relationship between people and the sea.

      Statistics that invite comparisons between urban Canadians and residents of rural, coastal communities cannot measure variables such as community...

    • CHAPTER SEVEN When You Can’t Build Fences: The West Isles Marine-Park Proposal
      (pp. 125-142)

      In 1975, the Parks Canada section of the Department of the Environment (now Canada Parks Service) carried out a preliminary survey of the Bay of Fundy marine region to identify a potential site for Canadaʹs first marine park. This led to the in-depth study of the feasibility of establishing a marine park in the West Isles, known locally as Deer Island, an area in the southwest corner of the Bay of Fundy. Yet today, the possibility of establishing a marine park appears less likely than when it was first proposed more than a decade ago. Strong and unanticipated opposition from...

    • CHAPTER EIGHT No Rigs: Controversy on Georges Bank
      (pp. 143-162)

      Beginning in the mid-1980s, the controversy about exploring for oil on Georges Bank made headlines in Nova Scotia for three years running. Why would a request to drill for oil off Nova Scotia generate such furor? An explanation requires an understanding of the setting and the timing of the controversy, and a detailed look at the circumstances of coastal communities and the fishing industry. What follows is a chronological account of events between 1985 and 1988, culminating in political decisions to delay offshore exploration on Georges Bank for at least twelve years.

      In October 1984, a long and costly fight...

    • CHAPTER 9 Building Alliances to Protect South Moresby Island
      (pp. 163-184)

      South Moresby is a 110-kilometre-long triangle of land with numerous adjacent islands at the south end of Moresby Island (Figure 1). The nearest villages are well to the north and are accessible by air and sea only. This isolated area, which largely escaped glaciation, has abundant energy and provides a nutrient-rich setting for a large number of endemic species and an unusual quantity and variety of wildlife. There are the Queen Charlotte black bear, special alpine and subalpine areas, lakes displaying stages of stickleback evolution, high concentrations of raptors such as bald eagles and Peales peregrine falcons, and sea-lion rookeries....

    • CHAPTER TEN Managing the Arctic Ocean in Nunavut: The Inuit Land-Claim Settlement
      (pp. 185-206)

      The Arctic has always maintained a favoured position in the Canadian quest for identity. Yet for many hundreds of years the Inuit have lived in and occupied this region, hunting, fishing and trapping according to the law of the seasons, unconcerned about and largely unaware of the fretting of Canadian nationalists. The Second World War and the subsequent uneasy coexistence of East and West changed all of this. In the last forty years or so, the military, federal government, and oil, gas, and mineral industries followed the earlier path of the whalers, churches, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (rcmp) to...


    • [PART THREE Introduction]
      (pp. 207-208)

      The marine environment is constantly surprising us. We once believed that ocean resources were inexhaustible and that natural processes would eradicate our wastes and other unwanted materials. But events of the past two decades have proven that we were naive and outright wrong on both counts. Moreover, we are now forced to respond to complex problems with inadequate information and incomplete knowledge. For example, single-species management models are no longer appropriate in multi-species fisheries. While we recognize that environmental variables such as water temperature, wind speed, and current direction play key roles in biological production and influence the mixing and...

    • CHAPTER ELEVEN Murky Waters: Pollution in Three Atlantic Harbours
      (pp. 209-230)

      People and the sea come together at harbours. Harbours serve many different users, including those involved in transportation, the fishing industry, recreation, and waste disposal. Conflicts may arise when waste disposal has an adverse effect on other uses of the marine environment – that is, when pollution occurs. Public awareness of and reaction to harbour pollution varies. There is immediate reaction, for example, in crisis situations where highly valued resources and traditional activities are suddenly threatened. On the other hand, the general public may not react where pollution is chronic or insidious. This is especially true if it is not...

    • CHAPTER TWELVE The St Lawrence Beluga Whale: Will It Survive?
      (pp. 231-246)

      The plight of the St Lawrence beluga whales became a major regional and national environmental issue in the 1980s. It is estimated that the current population of whales in the St Lawrence estuary and the lower Saguenay Fjord is less than ten percent of what it was at the turn of the century. Overexploitation, loss of critical habitat, a contaminated environment, and high levels of toxic chemicals and heavy metals in the tissues of the whales themselves are thought to be among the principal factors responsible for the populationʹs declining numbers and continued failure to recover.

      In many ways, the...

    • CHAPTER THIRTEEN Toxic-Shellfish Crisis: 1987 and Beyond
      (pp. 247-262)

      In November and December of 1987, Canada was struck with a shellfish toxin crisis. This was quickly traced to cultured blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) from a localized area of eastern Prince Edward Island (pei). During this period, over one hundred cases of acute intoxication following consumption of toxic mussels were reported, corresponding to approximately three cases per thousand portions of mussels consumed. Symptoms of human intoxication included abdominal cramps and vomiting, which occurred within the first few hours; in some instances this was followed by neurologic distress involving disorientation and memory loss that could persist indefinitely. Two elderly patients died....


    • [PART FOUR Introduction]
      (pp. 263-264)

      Canada sould be described as an unselfconscious coastal state. Perhaps because most Canadians live inland and do not derive their livelihood directly from the sea, oceans-policy questions have generally been viewed as regional rather than national political-agenda items. There have been exceptions, of course. The transit of the supertankerManhattanthrough the Northwest Passage in 1969 led to enactment of the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act in 1970, with regulations promulgated in 1972. Later, in September 1985, following a similar voyage by the us Coast Guard vesselPolar Sea, Canadaʹs secretary of state for External Affairs, the Honourable Joe Clark,...

    • CHAPTER FOURTEEN Sentinels and Saviours: Canadian Environmental Groups and Ocean Politics
      (pp. 265-278)

      Canadaʹs environmental groups have had a sporadic and selective relationship with the oceans. For a few, the seas have provided an array of issues – the fates of whales, dolphins, or seals, the effects of oil or chemical pollution – that are readily exploitable in public-education and media campaigns. For most, however, environmental questions connected with the coastlines and offshore waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans are peripheral. They are more likely to be concerned with pollution in large industrial centres or the Great Lakes, the ecological consequences of energy and natural-resource development on land, the use and...

    • CHAPTER FIFTEEN Getting meq On Political Agendas
      (pp. 279-288)

      Marine environmental quality (meq) is on the verge of becoming a significant political issue in Canada. The effort to get it onto political agendas began with the grounding of theArrowin Chedabucto Bay on Nova Scotiaʹs east coast in 1969 and was given a serious boost twenty years later with the grounding of another tanker, theExxon Valdez, in us waters near Valdez, Alaska. That grounding, and the subsequent spill of millions of litres of oil into a rich marine environment, again raised the Canadian consciousness about ecological risks to the oceans.

      The fact that consciousness raising has taken...

    • CHAPTER SIXTEEN The Quest for Excellence: Funding Marine-Science Research and Development
      (pp. 289-314)
      L. M. DICKIE

      During the past decade science in Canada, including oceanographic science, has been subjected to organizational and financial changes that are more profound and far-reaching than any since the foundation of the National Research Council (nrc) in 1916. Yet, aside from frustration and worry over the present scarcity of positions, there seems to be little public concern over the kinds of science that are being supported or the principles of its management.

      It is difficult to account for the apparent lack of reaction within the scientific community. The Glassco Commission (Canada 1963), which reported on Canadian government administration, drew attention to...

  10. Prospects: Towards a Three-Ocean, One-Nation Policy
    (pp. 315-324)

    Professor Douglas M. Johnston reported to the MacDonald Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada in 1985 that Canada has never engaged ʺin any public examination of its national ocean policy.ʺ He also noted that ʺCanadaʹs failure to engage in any systematic [ocean] policy planning may be a mark of its culture, or the result of an unduly regionalized system of federal government. Whatever the reason for this failure it has nothing to do with capabilityʺ (Johnston 1985, 24). In the us, ocean policy has been a legitimate field of study for nearly two decades; the...

  11. Contributors
    (pp. 325-327)