Report raises alarms about fish processing rules

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The Canadian Press

A new report raises alarms about whether a Canada-Europe free trade deal would wipe out rules that protect Atlantic fishery jobs.

The report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says restrictions that limit corporate dominance of the fishery are at risk.

Author Scott Sinclair includes leaked details from the ongoing trade talks that suggest Canada is being pressured to scrap minimum fish processing requirements.

Those rules are meant to protect local fish plant jobs and were the focus of a long dispute between the Newfoundland and Labrador government and Ocean Choice International.

The province and OCI reached a deal last month allowing the company to send most of its yellowtail flounder catch overseas, unprocessed.

The rest will be handled at a plant in the province, creating 110 full-time jobs.

Sinclair says scrapping minimum processing requirements would strip provinces of leverage in future disputes.

Federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield has denied that owner-operator or fleet separation policies are in jeopardy.

Organizations: Canadian Centre

Geographic location: Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador

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  • a business man
    January 09, 2013 - 18:42

    As a newfoundland taxpayer and voter, I fully support a decision to scrap the minimum fish processing requirements. The benefits of local fishing jobs are miniscule when compared to the benefits of Canada-Europe Free Trade Deal. We must support the decisions that benefit the majority of ratepayers, not the decisions that only benefit the local fishery.

  • Casey
    January 09, 2013 - 11:02

    Leave it up to Ottawa to ignore outport NL once again. They allowed the stocks to be ravaged mostly by EU fishing boats now they may be getting ready to put the final nail in the coffin for the outports. Sickening!