FISH-NL claims victory with DFO measures to help inshore harvesters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 15th, 2017 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is pleased with recent measures announced by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to help mitigate the impact of declining quotas and strengthen enterprise viability.

“This is most certainly a victory for inshore harvesters,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “DFO is to be thanked for listening to the concerns of harvesters when their own union, the FFAW, has tuned them out.” 

For harvesters in fishing zone 3Ps off Newfoundland’s south coast, DFO announced late last week that its combining policy will be amended to permit 3 to 1 enterprise combining for all fleets. In addition, combined enterprises in the 3Ps under 40-foot fleet will be permitted to buddy up.

The cod fishery in 3Ps will reopen on Wednesday, May 17th, although this year’s management plan has yet to be announced. DFO science has  recommended a cut in the 3Ps cod quota, which was set at 13,000 tonnes in 2016. It’s expected that this year’s quota will be set below the 7,000 tonnes that were actually caught last year.

In an effort to help the northern shrimp fleet, DFO has also announced that the department is working on short-term options for flexible harvest arrangement between enterprises for 2017.

The northern shrimp quota in waters off the Great Northern Peninsula and southern Labrador (the fishing zone most inshore harvesters are most reliant on) was slashed in March by 62.6 per cent — to 10,400 tonnes this year from as high as 48,000 tonnes two years ago.

In mid-April, FISH-NL met with NL MPs in Ottawa regarding the fishery crisis recommending flexibility in this year harvesting rules.

-30-