Green­land ship ar­rives in port day af­ter fed­eral ban

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY TOM AY­ERS

SYD­NEY — There was some con­fu­sion this week over the Depart­ment of Fisheries and Oceans de­ci­sion to close all Cana­dian ports to fish­ing ves­sels from Green­land and the Faroe Is­lands, af­ter a shrimp trawler from Green­land ap­peared in Syd­ney har­bour Mon­day.

Crew mem­bers of the Markus, out of Nuuk, Green­land, said the ship was on con­tract to North Syd­ney’s MV Osprey, whose shrimp trawler the North­ern Ea­gle caught fire Dec. 25 off the coast of Labrador and has been out of ser­vice for re­pairs.

They said the fac­tory freezer/trawler will likely head out to the 3L re­gion to fish for shrimp and then turn north to the shrimp wa­ters be­tween Canada’s Baf­fin Is­land and Green­land.

Port and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials gave dif­fer­ing an­swers over whether the ship was al­lowed into Syd­ney har­bour.

Fed­eral Fisheries and Oceans Min­is­ter Gail Shea an­nounced Sun­day her de­ci­sion to close all Cana­dian ports to fish­ing ves­sels from Green­land and the Faroe Is­lands, say­ing shrimp fish­er­men from those ter­ri­to­ries weren’t fol­low­ing quo­tas set by the North­west At­lantic Fisheries Or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“Our gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to do what­ever is nec­es­sary, un­der the law, to pro­tect Cana­dian fish­er­men and the sus­tain­abil­ity of the in­dus­try,” Shea said in a press release an­nounc­ing the port clo­sures.

Den­mark, which has made Green­land and the Faroe Is­lands au­ton­o­mous ter­ri­to­ries un­der its rule, has ob­jected to its con­ser­va­tion quota for shrimp in the 3L re­gion. Shea said the ports clo­sure will re­main in ef­fect un­til Den­mark with­draws its ob­jec­tion.

The Markus first docked Mon­day at the marine ter­mi­nal in Syd­ney, then moved over to the MV Osprey wharf in North Syd­ney, Tues­day.

De­spite the ban an­nounced Sun­day, port of­fi­cials in Syd­ney said they were un­aware of the de­tails of the an­nounce­ment.

Syd­ney Ports Corp. gen­eral man­ager Don Rowe said if a ship comes into port, it’s not up to the lo­cal au­thor­ity to en­force the ban.

“It’s rev­enue for us, so we said yes,” he said. “If they come in and Trans­port (Canada) is al­low­ing them in, it’s not a ban as far as I’m con­cerned.”

A Trans­port Canada spokesman in Dart­mouth said he thought the ban only ap­plied to small DFO-con­trolled ports.

“As far as I was aware, there was a few New­found­land ports they were talk­ing about,” said Steve Bone.

Alain Belle-Isle, a DFO spokesman, ini­tially said the ban ap­plied to all fish­ing ves­sels in all ports, but later said the Markus, and oth­ers like it, would be ex­empted.

“It is be­cause it’s con­tracted un­der Cana­dian char­ter, it is ex­empt from the ban,” said BelleIsle.

He also said DFO would be clar­i­fy­ing the ports clo­sure with other fed­eral and port of­fi­cials.

“If there has been some mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion, that will have to be re­solved,” he said.

Steve Wad­den - Cape Bre­ton Post

Shrimp trawler Markus, out of Nuuk, Green­land, was docked at the MV Osprey wharf in North Syd­ney, Tues­day. The ship, which is un­der con­tract by MV Osprey, caused some con­fu­sion in light of a re­cent an­nounce­ment by fed­eral Fisheries and Oceans Min­is­ter Gail Shea to close all Cana­dian ports to fish­ing ves­sels from Green­land and the Faroe Is­lands.

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