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FFAW president to bring turbot issue to NAFO

September 18, 2015

Canada must do a better job managing the fisheries off our coasts. As we head into the 37th annual NAFO (North Atlantic Fisheries Organization) Meeting, the poor management of turbot must be addressed, either through NAFO or through an alternate forum.

“Canadians must have access to our adjacent resources. We cannot allow poor decisions of the past to dictate further poor decisions,” said FFAW-Unifor president Keith Sullivan.

Approximately 80 per cent of the turbot resource is in Canadian waters, yet Canadians only have access to 40 per cent of the quota. At a time when stocks are flourishing, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are dealing with decreased quotas in many species. This is undermining the coastal economy and stifling opportunities for economic sustainability.

The Canadian government must take decisive action to address this at NAFO.

This may not happen overnight. NAFO is the model we have now, but critical action must be taken. The turbot stock in the waters off Newfoundland and Labrador is healthier than harvesters have ever seen, resulting in record catches and scientific surveys matching harvesters’ observations.

This ineffective management has given rise to requests to have foreign vessels harvest the resource inside Canada’s 200 mile limit. The long struggle to achieve the protections granted by the 200 mile EEZ must not be so easily forgotten. Surely, fishing foreign quotas in Canadian waters cannot be the solution to a poor management regime. The root of the problem must be addressed and the FFAW expects the Canadian government to work toward solutions.
For media inquiries, please call Courtney Pelley at 743-4445 or email