St. John’s – Inshore shrimp harvesters and plant workers welcome yesterday’s announcement that all fishing in Shrimp Fishing Area (SFA) 6 will be halted until a full stock assessment and review of the Last In, First Out (LIFO) policy is completed.
In a memo released yesterday, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced that a Ministerial Advisory Panel will perform an external review of the LIFO quota allocation policy and deliver their findings and recommendations to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans by June 15, 2016. The Panel will be conducting consultations in several communities across the provinces in the coming months. LIFO has been suspended pending the results of the review.
“While this announcement is welcome news, inshore harvesters, plant workers and rural communities will not rest until the LIFO policy is abolished in favour of policies that respect the principles of adjacency and historical attachment,” said Keith Sullivan, President of FFAW-Unifor. “The traditional inshore fishery is the economic backbone of rural NL. The federal government should pursue fishing policies, such as moving the offshore out of SFA 6, which will keep the benefits of the fishery with the people and communities that are adjacent to the resource.”
If LIFO is maintained and the offshore is allowed to sustain a large presence in SFA 6, the inshore sector will see a devastating loss of 3000 direct jobs. According to a study conducted by the provincial government, the cost to the corporate-owned offshore fleet of abolishing LIFO and moving the fleet off of SFA 6 is relatively small, with a loss of only 54 jobs. Unlike the offshore corporate-owned trawlers, who have access to other shrimp fishing areas, inshore harvesters can only access northern shrimp in area 6.
“Unfair allocation policies have already had a significant impact on rural communities in Newfoundland and Labrador,” continued Sullivan. “In the upcoming community consultations, we will be sending a clear message to the review panel that the inshore fishery plays a vital role in our economy and the best way to sustain it is to ensure communities have access to adjacent resources.”
For media inquiries, please contact:
Jessica McCormick, FFAW-Unifor Communications Officer