FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Nov. 21st, 2017
The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is reiterating its call for Prime Minster Justin Trudeau to formally apologize to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians for fisheries mismanagement, which continues to threaten the province’s sustainability.
“The Prime Minister is set to apologize to residential school survivors in Labrador, and for LGBTQ persecution, and we’re hopeful his next apology will be to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians for the destruction — under Ottawa’s watch — of our once-great commercial fisheries,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL.
“The devastating repercussions to our economy, culture, population, community, culture, psyche, and future — especially since the '92 northern cod moratorium — have never been formally recognized nor apologized for by Ottawa,” he added.
“Until that happens — until there’s an acknowledgement that federal management went off the rails, and why — the commercial fisheries will continue to flounder, and Newfoundland and Labrador will suffer the tragic consequences. The federal government should ponder that on World Fisheries Day.”
Cleary wrote the Prime Minister on Sept. 28th to formally request that the Government of Canada reopen the province’s Terms of Union with regards to fisheries management so that the principles of adjacency and historical attachment can be made “constitutional cornerstones.”
He also asked for a formal apology for the failure of the federal government to live up to the 1949 Terms of Union to protect and responsibly manage our fisheries.
FISH-NL further recommended that all current quota allocations and management practices be reviewed to ensure that Newfoundland and Labrador is the principle beneficiary, similar to the foundation of the Atlantic Accord with the offshore oil and gas industry.
FISH-NL has yet to hear back from the Prime Minister’s office. Copies of the letter were also forwarded to the province’s seven Members of Parliament, as well as all 40 Members of the House of Assembly, including Premier Dwight Ball.
To date, FISH-NL has not received a single response from a single politician of any political stripe — federally or provincially. (Premier Ball's office acknowledged receipt of the letter.)
“The fishery has to be made a priority by both levels of governments, and current and past management gaps have to be examined if we are to move forward. An apology is a good place to start. The moratorium was not an event of 1992 — it's still happening.”