Good idea to be cau­tious

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Editorial - Mark.squibb@thep­ Mark.squibb@thep­

Pla­cen­tia Bay and For­tune Bay — to sup­ply its pro­cess­ing lines for 12 to 14 weeks in the win­ter.

As for the ap­par­ent de­cline in north­ern cod, and a less-thanop­ti­mistic sci­en­tific out­look for the stock in 2019, Ware­ham thinks it would be a good idea to be cau­tious.

“We’re been say­ing for the last two to three years we need to go slow and not take too much fish out of the wa­ter,” ex­plained Ware­ham.

“It’s con­cern­ing. I re­ally won’t be able to com­ment on the im­pact on (my) busi­ness un­til May or June what the min­is­ter de­cides to do,” said Ware­ham. “If he keeps the quota the same for the short term, there will be no im­pact on our busi­ness.”

Even though a cut to fish­ing quo­tas could im­pact his op­er­a­tion, Ware­ham says that is what the fed­eral min­is­ter Dominic LeBlanc should do.

“I don’t think he should keep the quota the same, be­cause if he does then we’re go­ing to take more fish out of the wa­ter and then the stocks are go­ing to go down again. From a long-term per­spec­tive, we need to see a mean­ing­ful de­crease.”

“Its def­i­nitely con­cern­ing, but un­til the plan for this year’s fish­ery is fi­nal­ized, we’re just spec­u­lat­ing.”

LeBlanc is ex­pected to make an an­nounce­ment about fish­ing quo­tas for north­ern cod some­time this month. fish­ery, roughly 3,600 tonnes is taken from the re­cre­ational fish­ery.

Ware­ham also spec­u­lates the amount of cod cal­cu­lated as be­ing caught in the re­cre­ational fish­ery may not be ac­cu­rate, if re­cre­ational fish­ers do not ac­cu­rately re­port their catch.

“There’s a lot of peo­ple go­ing out and catch­ing more than their 15 fish a day,” he al­leges.

Ware­ham also won­dered about the im­pact of the capelin fish­ery on cod stocks.

DFO’s capelin stock as­sess­ment, pub­lished in March, showed a de­crease of 70 per­cent of stock from 2015.

Capelin is a sta­ple food for cod. “Should we con­tinue to have a capelin fish­ery? The capelin re­source is down 70 per­cent based on the last as­sess­ment that we had. Capelin is the ideal fish for cod. Last year, I think we took

15,000 pounds of capelin in the com­mer­cial fish­ery. Why are we jeop­ar­diz­ing the long-term health of the cod re­source for

15,000 pounds of capelin?” he asked.

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