Commissioned research conducted for
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Environics Research Group Limited
Environics Research Group interviewed 2,036 Canadians 18 years of age and over between June 2 and 23, 2006. Tracking data is drawn from a survey conducted with 2,022 Canadians 18 years of age or older between June 20 and July 11, 2005. Results of a survey of this size can be considered accurate to within plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
There has been a marked decline since last summer in awareness of actions Canada has taken to stop overfishing or illegal fishing in international waters close to Canada's 200-mile zone.
Currently, three in ten Canadians (28%, down 18 points) are aware of actions taken in the past year or so. Two-thirds (67%, up 14) are not aware of any actions.
Awareness is highest in the Atlantic provinces (34%) and lowest in British Columbia (23%). Declines in awareness have been greatest in Ontario and British Columbia (both down 23 points), and least marked in Manitoba (down 10), Quebec (down 11) and the Atlantic provinces (down 13).
Reported awareness is relatively consistent across most demographic subgroups; however, older Canadians express greater awareness than younger Canadians.
The overwhelming majority of Canadians continue to think it is important for Canada to take the necessary steps to stop overfishing and illegal fishing in international waters, but there has been a slight reduction in the intensity of this opinion over the past year.
More than nine in ten Canadians (95%) say it is very (78%, down 4 points) or somewhat (17%, up 3) important for Canada to take these steps.
Atlantic Canadians (89%), Albertans (85%) and British Columbians (83%), particularly Vancouverites (87%), are more likely to say it is very important to take the necessary steps. Quebecers (66%) are least likely to say this; as well, the largest decline in the proportion who think this is very important has occurred in Quebec (down 11 points).
Older Canadians with higher levels of education and income are more inclined to think taking steps to stop overfishing is very important.
While a majority of Canadians continue to support increased surveillance as the most effective approach to the problem of overfishing, there has been a slight shift toward diplomatic approaches or a belief that both avenues are effective.
One-half of Canadians (52%, down 5 points) think that Canada is more likely to be effective in addressing the problem of overfishing and illegal fishing by increasing our surveillance of international waters. About one-third (36%, up 3) think it would be more effective to work through diplomatic channels with other countries involved in the international fishery. One in ten (9%, up 3) think both approaches are equally effective.
Belief in the effectiveness of increased surveillance is strongest in Atlantic Canada (57%) and Alberta (56%). Belief in the effectiveness of a diplomatic approach is strongest in Saskatchewan (43%) and in Toronto (41%), though among Ontarians as a whole this proportion (38%) is very close to the national average. The belief that both approaches are equally effective is strongest in Quebec (14%). Over the past year, support for increased surveillance has declined the most in Saskatchewan (down 10 points) and British Columbia (down 7); support for diplomatic approaches has increased the most in Atlantic Canada (up 7), Saskatchewan (up 7) and British Columbia (up 7). Belief that both approaches are effective has grown the most in Quebec (up 6).
Men and Canadians with lower education levels are more likely than others to think increased surveillance would be more effective. Women, younger Canadians and those at lower income levels are more likely to support working through diplomatic channels. Older Canadians and university graduates are more likely to think both approaches are equally effective.
The majority of Canadians continue to place more importance on the health of ocean fish stocks than on the health of the fishing industry.
There has been no significant change over the past year in overall public opinion on this question. Six in ten Canadians (60%) continue to believe that sustaining the health of ocean fish stocks is more important for Canada in the long run. Three in ten (31%) believe it is more important for Canada to sustain the health of the country's fishing industry. Six percent say they are equally important.
British Columbians (73%) and Atlantic Canadians (68%) are more likely than other Canadians to place greater importance on the health of fish stocks. Residents of Saskatchewan (39%) are more likely to place importance on the health of the fishing industry. Quebecers (14%) are more likely to say that both are equally important. The proportion of those who believe it is more important to sustain the health of ocean fish stocks has declined in Quebec (down 8 points) and increased in Manitoba (up 7).
Younger Canadians with higher levels of both education and income are more likely to think that it is more important for Canada to sustain the health of ocean fish stocks.
The vast majority of Canadians continue to express concern about the future of the world's fish stocks as a source of food.
Almost nine in ten Canadians say that they are very (47%, down 2 points) or somewhat (40%, up 3) concerned about global fish stocks. Only one in ten are not very concerned (9%, unchanged) and three percent (down 1) are not at all concerned.
Strong concern is greatest in British Columbia (56%) and Atlantic Canada (55%); it is lowest in Saskatchewan (36%) and Quebec (37%).
Older Canadians with higher levels of education, and those with lower incomes, are more likely to say they are very concerned about the future of the world's fish stocks.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Focus Canada 2006-2
18D. Are you aware of any actions that Canada has taken in the past year or so to stop overfishing or illegal fishing in international waters close to Canada's 200-mile zone?
01 – Yes
02 – No
99 – DK/NA
19D. In your view, do you believe it is very important, somewhat important, not very important, or not at all important for Canada to take the necessary steps to stop overfishing and illegal fishing in these international waters?
01 – Very important
02 – Somewhat important
03 – Not very important
04 – Not at all important
99 – DK/NA
20D. Do you think Canada is more likely to be effective in addressing the problem of overfishing and illegal fishing: READ AND ROTATE – CODE ONE ONLY
01 – By working through diplomatic channels with other countries involved in the international fishery
02 – By increasing our surveillance of international waters to deter overfishing
03 – Both equally effective
04 – Neither are effective
06 – Depends
99 – DK/NA
21D. Which of the following two priorities do you believe is more important for Canada in the long run: READ AND ROTATE – CODE ONE ONLY
01 – To sustain the health of ocean fish stocks
02 – To sustain the health of the country's fishing industry
03 – Both equally important
04 – Depends
99 – DK/NA
22D. Would you say you are very, somewhat, not very, or not at all concerned personally about the future of the world's fish stocks as a source of food?
01 – Very concerned
02 – Somewhat concerned
03 – Not very concerned
04 – Not at all concerned
99 – DK/NA
The results are based on omnibus questions placed on an Environics FOCUS CANADA survey, conducted with a representative sample of adult Canadians between June 2 and 23, 2006.
The questions were designed by Environics senior researchers in conjunction with representatives from Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The questions were pre-tested as part of the overall survey, prior to being finalized.
The sampling method was designed to complete approximately 2,020 interviews within households randomly selected across Canada. The sample is drawn in such a way that it represents the Canadian population with the exception of those Canadians living in the Yukon, Northwest Territories or Nunavut, or in institutions (armed forces barracks, hospitals, prisons).
The sampling model relies on the stratification of the population by ten regions (Atlantic Canada, Metropolitan Montreal, the rest of Quebec, the Greater Toronto Area, the rest of Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, the Greater Vancouver Regional District and the rest of British Columbia) and by four community sizes (1,000,000 inhabitants or more, 100,000 to 1,000,000 inhabitants, 5,000 to 100,000 inhabitants, and under 5,000 inhabitants). The final sample was distributed as follows.
| 2001 Census*
|Margin of Error|
|Atlantic Canada||8||157||250||+/- 6.2%|
|British Columbia||13||266||226||+/- 6.5%|
* Canadians aged 18 years or over in 2001, excluding those in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon
Environics uses a sampling method in which sample is generated using the RDD (random digit dialling) technique. Samples are generated using a database of active phone ranges. These ranges are made up of a series of contiguous blocks of 100 contiguous phone numbers and are revised three to four times per year after a thorough analysis of the most recent edition of an electronic phonebook. Each number generated is processed through an appropriate series of validation procedures before it is retained as part of a sample. Each number generated is looked up in a recent electronic phonebook database to retrieve geographic location, business indicator and “do not call” status. The postal code for listed numbers is verified for accuracy and compared against a list of valid codes for the sample stratum. Non-listed numbers are assigned a “most probable” postal code based on the data available for all listed numbers in the phone exchange. This sample selection technique ensures that both unlisted numbers and numbers listed after the directory publication are included in the sample.
Interviewing for this survey was conducted at Environics' central facilities in Toronto and Montreal. Field supervisors were present at all times to ensure accurate interviewing and recording of responses. Ten percent of each interviewer's work was unobtrusively monitored for quality control in accordance with the standards set out by the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association – MRIA (formerly the Canadian Association of Marketing Research Organizations – CAMRO). A minimum of five calls were made to a household before classifying it as a “no answer.”
From within each household contacted, respondents 18 years of age and older were screened for random selection using the “most recent birthday” method. The use of this technique produces results that are as valid and effective as enumerating all persons within a household and selecting one randomly.
A total of 2,036 interviews were completed between June 2 and 23, 2006. A sample of this size will produce a sampling error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error is greater for results pertaining to regional or socio-demographic subgroups of the total sample.
The effective response rate is six percent: the number of completed interviews (2,036) divided by the total dialled sample (43,483) minus the non-valid/non-residential numbers, the numbers not in service, and ineligible households as well as those that presented a language barrier (10,037). The actual completion rate is 11 percent: the number of completed interviews (2,036) divided by the number of qualified respondents contacted directly (17,823).
|A. Total sample dialled||43,483||100|
|Household not eligible||0||0|
|Non-residential/not in service||8,888||20|
|C. New base (A – B)||33,446||100|
|D. No answer/line busy/not available||15,623||47|
|F. Net completions (C – E)||2,036||6|
|Completion rate (F / [C – D])||11|
Note: totals may not sum to 100 due to rounding.