Today, DFO’s Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee (NSAC) announced interim quotas for northern shrimp in SFAs 4-6 as a means of ensuring quota is available for the April 1 opening date.
The interim quota allocates 5429 tons to inshore harvesters out of a total 7801 tons allocated to area 6. This is a 25% decline from last year’s quota.
Despite repeated demands that Minister Leblanc remove the offshore from SFA 6 to allow inshore harvesters fair access to the resource, the department has permitted the offshore access to 1802 tons of the 7801 quota. With these cuts, the offshore trawlers still hold approximately 45,000 tons of northern shrimp quota in all shrimp fishing areas, while the inshore harvesters in Newfoundland and Labrador only have access to 5429 tons in area 6.
Our Union’s fight to abolish the LIFO policy was successful in keeping the inshore in the northern shrimp fishery, but more must still be done. As these are interim quotas, we still have the chance to impress upon the Minister the importance of this fishery to rural Newfoundland and Labrador before an official decision is made.
FFAW-Unifor will continue to call on the Minister to remove offshore trawlers from SFA 6, which must be exclusively allocated to inshore harvesters. The offshore fleet, which also has access to areas 4 and 5 that are currently considered in the healthy zone, should not be permitted to exploit the only area inshore harvesters have access to.