October 22, 2018 7:00 pm
Updated: October 22, 2018 7:09 pm

Dalhousie hosts panel on how to make ocean cleaner, safer and healthier

Mon, Oct 22: A panel in Halifax that included a federal minister discussed the ocean on Monday. Steve Silva reports on some of their concerns.

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Dalhousie University hosted a panel discussion in Halifax on Monday to talk about ocean research, ocean health and the impacts of climate change, among other topics.

“If it’s the government deciding it’s going to do something that is not supported by the broad swath of Canadians then, ultimately, you’ll simply have a change in government,” Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Jonathan Wilkinson said during the discussion.

The event, held at the Steele Ocean Sciences Building, attracted about 75 people.

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Anya Waite, the Ocean Frontier Institute’s scientific director, said it’s important to preserve enough of the ocean that there’s a sustainable balance.

“We want to make sure we don’t disrupt the systems that are saving us,” she told reporters after the event.

Alain Vezina, regional science director for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, said that a shifting distribution of different species is a significant concern.

“You have fish species that are moving north all the time because of climate warming. Some of them are moving into our area and some of them are leaving our area so that affects the mix of species that a fisherman can go after,” he told reporters after the event.

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Wilkinson told the crowd that it’s important to think about how climate change issues are communicated.

“Ultimately, the level of confidence that many people in this country have in politicians is not that high, and so we’re not always the best spokesperson to actually convince people that it’s a real issue,” he said.

Instead, universities and non-governmental organizations, among others, are the better entities in this matter, Wilkinson added.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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