August 31, 2019
Yesterday, FFAW leadership, including fish harvesters Trevor Jones, Robbie Green and Allan Sheppard, held a very productive meeting with federal fisheries minister Jonathan Wilkinson to discuss serious concerns with the science and management of the Atlantic mackerel fishery.
Representatives highlighted the impact of changing climate on distribution of mackerel. Harvesters are observing a significant amount of fish over a broad area on both the northeast coast and west coast of the province.
In an effort to improve the science of mackerel and to collect new information, harvesters have delivered samples of small, pencil mackerel that were not born in the Gulf, where DFO larval survey takes place. Additionally, harvesters have observed spawning mackerel in new areas, making it clear that more science is needed in order to improve the management of the stock.
Minister Wilkinson was very receptive to the most up-to-date information on the stock raised during the meeting, particularly the evidence of changes from past conventional understanding of this stock. The Minister understood how important the mackerel fishery is in Newfoundland and Labrador and committed to getting back to FFAW next week with further information.
This week FFAW representatives and fish harvesters also met with Member of Parliament Gudie Hutchings and will be meeting with other MPs next week to ensure mackerel gets the consideration it deserves.