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Additional Considerations on Ministerial Advisory Panel Recommendations on LIFO

July 4, 2016

During the Ministerial Advisory Panel (MAP) Consultations on Northern Shrimp, FFAW-Unifor’s support for adjacency and an equitable share was consistent for the entire northern shrimp fishery and extended beyond SFA 6. We fully support a greater equitable presence for adjacent indigenous groups in SFA 5 and 4.

We are disappointed, however, in the MAP’s recommendation to remove allocations from inshore affected harvesters who held an equitable share of the northern shrimp resource since 2003. The MAP’s recommendation did not accurately reflect the importance of this allocation to the affected harvesters. The allocation not only provided income, but it contributed to the overall viability of fishing enterprises, which drives the economy of rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

FFAW-Unifor has formally requested that the inshore affected harvester allocation be reinstated, as this would be more equitable. This will not affect the increases to quotas to Indigenous groups, as we are suggesting that the reinstated quota be fulfilled from the new quota level of the non-adjacent offshore fleet.

The presence of the non-adjacent offshore in SFA 5 is supported only by a challenged definition of historic attachment. In its report, the MAP suggested that the amortization period for a claim of historic attachment needs to be addressed. It is our position that the non-adjacent offshore fleet’s presence in SFA 5 is fully amortized and that a much stronger claim for the resource rests with the affected inshore harvesters.

During the MAP consultations, offshore representatives repeatedly brought up the possibility of processing industrial shrimp in processing facilities in NL. Approximately 20% of the offshore quota goes into industrial shrimp and most of it is processed in Europe. The Panel recommends the creation of a strategy and action plan to process more industrial shrimp within NL. We strongly endorse moving forward with this idea as soon as possible. The pending quota cuts will have a disproportionate impact on local processing workers. Any strategy to support onshore processing workers should be pursued with urgency.

FFAW-Unifor is eager to move past LIFO and establish a stronger and fairer inshore fishery based on equity and adjacency. The MAP’s recommendations move that forward in SFA 6. It is essential that equitable sharing not be undermined in SFA 5. The inshore affected harvesters have a longstanding economic dependence on northern shrimp. Their current allocation should be respected in the new northern shrimp management regime.