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Statement on Closure of 2016 Mackerel Fishery

October 14, 2016

Harvesters are angered by today’s closure of this year’s Mackerel fishery. This year harvesters experienced increases in catch levels compared to previous years. In light of these increases, FFAW-Unifor has requested an urgent meeting with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to discuss an increase in quota.

Mackerel is a trans-boundary stock. Historically, quotas were set equally on both sides of the border. In recent years, Canada has set a much lower total allowable catch. Currently the United States sets a quota of more than 20,000 tons. In Canada, DFO has allocated only 8,000 tons of Mackerel to Atlantic Canada. FFAW-Unifor has consistently expressed serious concerns with the disparity in quota levels.

Mackerel brings significant value to harvesters in this province. Given the increases in catch levels in 2016, NL harvesters must be given the opportunity to catch more Mackerel this year.