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LETTER: Put the fishery on the political agenda

Newfoundland and Labrador's economy was built on the fishery and remains heavily linked to the ocean through offshore oil activity. But the water is pretty murky when it comes to assessing the province's sustainability. — SaltWire Network file photo
— SaltWire Network file photo - File Photo

There hasn’t been much talk during the election about expanding jobs in the fishery — like, for example, limiting the concentration of enterprises and quotas in corporate or individual fishers’ hands, while making it so difficult for aspiring entrants to take over an existing enterprise, thus adding nail after nail to the coffin of fishing villages.

As far as I know, in P.E.I. there is no equivalent of the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board.

In Prince Edward Island — in my understanding, anyway — prospective fishers can apply to DFO directly to take over an existing enterprise and DFO will make the decisions, not an unelected, unaccountable board with unbelievably harsh and undemocratic rules and regulations, as in Newfoundland.

To make myself absolutely clear, I am not talking about new quotas, but merely about allowing existing quotas and enterprises to be allocated to new fishers so as many people as possible can make a reasonable living from the sea and potentially help keep their fishing villages alive.

Corporate or individual concentration does not bode well for community survival!

I understood the Charter of Rights and Freedoms extended to all provinces.

As Sir Walter Scott said, “It’s no fish ye’re buying — it’s men’s lives.”

Time for politicians to restore democracy to the fishery as in other economic pursuits.

David Boyd


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