On October 14, 2016, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced the closure of the NL Mackerel fishery.
This year harvesters experienced increases in catch levels compared to previous years. In light of these increases, FFAW-Unifor requested an urgent meeting with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to discuss an increase in quota. Read our letter to the Minister here.
On November 10, after several discussions with Department staff, FFAW-Unifor received a response from Regional Director Jacqueline Perry clarifying that conditions of the closure would be amended to allow for the harvesting of mackerel for personal use bait in Areas 1 to 11. Read the response from DFO here.
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.