DFO pol­icy changes a vic­tory for in­shore fish­er­men, FISH-NL says

The Compass - - Editorial -

The Fed­er­a­tion of In­de­pen­dent Sea Har­vesters of New­found­land and Labrador (FISH-NL) is ap­plaud­ing re­cent mea­sures an­nounced by the Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans (DFO) to ease the im­pact of shrink­ing quo­tas and sup­port fish en­ter­prises.

DFO an­nounced last week its com­bin­ing pol­icy will be ad­justed to al­low three-to-one en­ter­prise com­bin­ing for all fleets in fish­ing zone 3Ps on the south coast.

Com­bined en­ter­prises in the un­der 40-foot fleet in 3Ps will also be per­mit­ted to buddy up.

“This is most cer­tainly a vic­tory for in­shore har­vesters,”

FISH-NL pres­i­dent

Ryan Cleary said in a news re­lease.

“DFO is to be thanked for lis­ten­ing to the con­cerns of har­vesters when their own union, the FFAW, has tuned them out.”

The cod fish­ery in 3Ps re­opened last Wed­nes­day. A man­age­ment plan for the sea­son has yet to be an­nounced, how­ever. DFO sci­ence has rec­om­mended the cod quota for the area be re­duced from the 13,000 tonnes it was set at in 2016.

This year’s quota is ex­pected to be set be­low the 7,000 tonnes that was 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 was slashed in March by 62.6 per cent to 10,400 tonnes this year.

FISH-NL met with New­found­land and Labrador’s MPs in Ot­tawa on the fish­ery last month and rec­om­mended flex­i­bil­ity in this year har­vest­ing rules, the re­lease noted.

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