Ban on Industrial Activity in MPAs a Step in the Right Direction
April 25, 2019
ST. JOHN’S, NL – Today, the federal government made progress in correcting what fish harvesters see as a double standard in Canada’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The announcement of a ban on all industrial activities inside MPAs addresses some of the concerns raised fish harvesters. FFAW-Unifor is now calling on the federal government to extend this ban to other conservation areas that prohibit fishing activity, while permitting oil and gas exploration.
“Our Union is pleased that government is responding to industry concerns of the double standard in conservation areas and this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, but it’s clear that exceptional accommodations are still being made for the oil and gas sector,” says FFAW-Unifor President Keith Sullivan.
As it stands, over 100,000km2 in Newfoundland and Labrador waters are classified as marine refuge areas that restrict fishing while oil and gas exploration continues unencumbered. Fish harvesters in Newfoundland and Labrador are understandably frustrated by this contradiction, having given up considerable fishing grounds in the name of conservation.
“Any closures intended to focus on marine conservation must restrict all other marine industrial activities. We cannot ask fish harvesters to accept the closure of an area to fishing activity for conservation purposes while continuing to allow oil and gas exploration in that same area,” concludes Sullivan.
For media inquiries please contact Courtney Glode, [email protected], 743-4445.