Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I want to thank the witnesses for appearing again before this committee.
I'm going to take a little bit of a different track with my questions. As you know, I come from the south shore of Nova Scotia. Two particular species, the Atlantic whitefish and the Atlantic salmon are at risk. The Atlantic whitefish, I believe, is now endangered.
One of the concerns that I have heard in the communities and with organizations that have worked with this specific fish is that DFO's attitude, plan, and way of managing is to save what we have, not rebuild what we have. There are real concerns that there's no plan in place to rebuild the stocks, but just one to make sure that we don't lose what we've got.
I'm just wondering if you can comment on that. Can you put people at ease that we do want to rebuild this stock? A lot of the concern comes from the fact that the hatchery that we had was not only closed, but was totally dismantled. There's some question as to where the smolts, the eggs, and everything else went when that was dismantled. There has been an interest in rebuilding another hatchery. Is that a possibility? I know I'm asking you all kinds of questions at once, but they're all interrelated.
Furthermore, while you were giving testimony, I heard a couple of times about the importance of stock. How do you judge what the importance of stock is? Does that play a role in your rebuilding plans? If something is a commercial fishery, is it more important than something that is almost gone, like the Atlantic whitefish?
I'll start with you, Ms. Blewett. Maybe you can start that conversation.