The Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) union is making a case the 2017 cod quota for 3Ps should be set solely for inshore harvesters after diminished catches along the south coast last year.
In a news release Wednesday, the FFAW said some illuminating details were presented during an advisory meeting held this week at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in St. John’s.
Last year the cod quota for the 3Ps region was set at 13,000 tons. Only 7,000 tons were caught due to the decreased health of the stock, however.
With DFO recommending a reduction of the catch for the upcoming season, the union says it’s anticipated the quota will be reduced below 7,000 tons.
“Harvesters in 3Ps have been signalling that this stock has been suffering in recent years,” FFAW-Unifor president Keith Sullivan stated in the news release.
“Allowing the offshore to continue fishing with a quota below 10,000 tons would only intensify the economic crisis inshore harvesters are facing in this area.”
Past practice when the quota is set below the 10,000-ton threshold has been to remove offshore trawlers from the fishery, the union news release stated, referring to when the fishery re-opened in the area in 1997 as an example.
“With a quota cut below the 10,000 ton threshold, the entire quota must be allocated to the inshore. Given the serious financial challenges facing harvesters in this area, we would expect nothing less,” Sullivan said.