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FISH-NL wants better management of the industry in this province

Ryan Cleary, president of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) was in the Hawke’s Bay area July 23-24 to speak with fish harvesters.
Ryan Cleary, president of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) was in the Hawke’s Bay area July 23-24 to speak with fish harvesters.

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

He recommends that all current quota allocations and management practices be reviewed to ensure that 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 said Tuesday 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,” he added.

Cleary said the inshore fleet is getting the short end of the stick at a time when their 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 of 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 said.

“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 the 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 included in the correspondence.

In a separate letter sent to the premier, Cleary said, “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,” he added.

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