Dis­cussing the fish­ery

Hare Bay fish­ers high­light in­dus­try con­cerns dur­ing DFO ses­sion

The Beacon (Gander) - - News - BY ADAM RAN­DELL Adam.ran­dell@gan­der­bea­con.ca

HARE BAY, NL – As the open ses­sion with De­part­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans (DFO) rep­re­sen­ta­tives about fish­eries in New­found­land and Labrador got un­der­way in Hare Bay on Jan. 19, har­vesters were a lit­tle hes­i­tant to speak up. But as the two-hour meet­ing – ses­sion four of DFO’s crossprovince tour – pro­gressed, one by one they started to ex­press them­selves. The con­ver­sa­tion fo­cused mainly on ground­fish species, as most of the ap­prox­i­mately two dozen par­tic­i­pants fish in the un­der-40-foot fleet. Ron Bur­ton, area direc­tor for DFO Eastern, Cen­tral and Labrador, said there have been a lot of no­tice­able trends in the meet­ings be­ing held across the prov­ince. He said 85 to 90 per cent of the dis­cus­sions and con­cerns are sim­i­lar “but ev­ery area has its own unique­ness.” “Which is im­por­tant for us to hear, be­cause what works in St. An­thony might not nec­es­sar­ily work here,” said Bur­ton. Ware­ham fish­er­man Ger­ard Houn­sell looked at the ses­sion as a great op­por­tu­nity for a face-to-face ex­change with DFO that hope­fully re­sults in pos­i­tive change within the in­dus­try. For Houn­sell, he’s hop­ing it can open dis­cus­sions about the re­turn of a tur­bot fish­ery in 3L in waters less than 300 fath­oms deep. He said the fish­ery did ex­ist in the area pre­vi­ously but was shut down more than a decade ago be­cause of a high cod by­catch. “With weekly cod quo­tas now, why not jug­gle things around to make this type of fish­ery work,” Houn­sell said.

ADAM RAN­DELL/THE BEA­CON

Ap­prox­i­mately two dozen Bon­av­ista Bay fish­er­men took part in a two-hour open dis­cus­sion ses­sion with the De­part­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans on Jan. 19.

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