FISH-NL wants bet­ter man­age­ment of in­dus­try in this prov­ince

The Packet (Clarenville) - - EDITORIAL - ST. JOHN’S, NL tele­gram@thetele­gram.com

FISH-NL pres­i­dent Ryan Cleary has writ­ten a let­ter to Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau ask­ing for the Terms of Union to be re­opened so in­shore har­vesters get a fair shake.

Cleary rec­om­mends that all cur­rent quota al­lo­ca­tions and man­age­ment prac­tices be re­viewed to en­sure New­found­land and Labrador in­shore har­vesters ben­e­fit from the ad­ja­cency prin­ci­ple adopted by the Lib­er­als in 2016.

“Our in­shore har­vesters must have first ac­cess to all ad­ja­cent fish re­sources,” Cleary stated Oct. 3 in a news re­lease.

“And, sim­i­lar to the foun­da­tion of the At­lantic Ac­cord with the off­shore oil and gas in­dus­try, New­found­land and Labrador must be ‘prin­ci­ple ben­e­fi­ciary’ of all fish re­sources ad­ja­cent to our shores.”

Cleary said the in­shore fleet is get­ting the short end of the stick at a time when its quo­tas are be­ing cut and those quo­tas are be­ing granted to other, larger off­shore op­er­a­tions — in­clud­ing har­vest­ing of red­fish in the Gulf, and Arc­tic surf clams off Grand Bank.

“The fact that the min­is­ter of Fish­eries and Oceans for Canada can dic­tate who has first ac­cess to New­found­land and Labrador’s pri­mary re­source is wrong for the prov­ince, wrong for ad­ja­cent in­shore har­vesters and ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, and wrong for our fu­ture,” Cleary stated.

“No one min­is­ter or gov­ern­ment should have such ab­so­lute con­trol over New­found­land and Labrador’s fish­ery for­tunes.”

FISH-NL asked the prime min­is­ter to es­tab­lish a com­mit­tee to set out the pa­ram­e­ters of a review of the Terms of Union. In ad­di­tion, FISH-NL is seek­ing a for­mal apol­ogy to New­found­land and Labrador for fish­eries mis­man­age­ment.

Premier Dwight Ball, the seven mem­bers of Par­lia­ment from this prov­ince and all MHAs were sent copies of the cor­re­spon­dence.

In a sep­a­rate let­ter sent to the premier, Cleary stated, “We can no longer af­ford to be com­pla­cent and neg­li­gent with our most valu­able, re­new­able re­source.”

“Sixty-eight years is long enough to prove that Ot­tawa can­not man­age our fish­eries with­out a sig­nif­i­cant shift in man­age­ment. That process must be­gin with a review of our Terms of Union in which Ot­tawa was rel­e­gated care­taker of our fish re­source. For New­found­land and Labrador’s short- and long-term fu­ture, it’s time to take a strong stand to­gether.”

Ryan Cleary

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