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Letter: It’s our N.L. fish … give us our recreational fishery

["Recreational fishers take to the waters to try their luck at catching a few meals of codfish. This big fish was caught during last year's food fishery. Packet file photo"]
File photo

Less than two days ago a petition was started to rally N.L.ers on the Food/Recreational Fishery in N.L. for 2018. (www.change.org/p/food-recreational-fishery-nl-2018-get-it-going)

As of now, we have 600 people supporting this key question: “Why are we still waiting and waiting for the go-ahead on the Food - Recreational Fishery NL 2018?

Why, why is there no scheduled, dependable date for our fishery?”

It’s now June and we have not heard a word, not a word.

Related story:

Paul Smith: Fish processors want you to stop killing their cod

Last year it was announced May 19. DFO has had 25 years to study this and still we wait .... With good science, nothing should have changed in 10 months. Along with long-standing cultural traditions, serious money for tourism and hospitality operators is being thrown to the wind.

This means serious money to boat builders, the tourism industry, tour companies, supply chain companies and owners of hotels and restaurants. They just cannot wait until the last minute to participate … cannot.

Why has this not been heralded and planned for as a key piece of the tourist industry is baffling to all. It is said less than 1 per cent of the N.L. cod quota is caught in the food/recreational fishery.

So it is an irrelevant amount of fish but, it also is free food and that should be our right.

Can someone explain to me why this has not been announced and why this is not established by December every year?

Shawn Williams

St. John’s

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