ST. JOHN’S, NL – Fish harvesters in Newfoundland and Labrador are calling on newly appointed Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Honourable Joyce Murray, to make the protection and promotion of independent, owner-operator fish harvesters a key priority as she assumes her new ministerial portfolio.
This is especially important for the emerging Unit 1 Redfish Fishery, for which the consultation process on allocation and access was announced on September 16th, 2021, with a fast-approaching deadline of November 15th for submissions by industry stakeholders.
“The federal Liberal government made significant progress for inshore fish harvesters by amending the Fisheries Act to enshrine key policies that ensure the wealth and benefits of the inshore fishery remain with coastal communities, not corporations,” said Keith Sullivan, FFAW-Unifor President. “However, we need a Minister to be a true champion for owner-operator harvesters and coastal communities by ensuring that these policies, together with the principle of adjacency, are applied in allocation decisions.”
An ill-advised consultation process on this redfish stock was announced during the election campaign and has remained rudderless with no responsible minister to date. The Minister must halt the current non-inclusive and unnecessarily hurried consultation process which was launched in the absence of an acting Minister to bring accountability to the proceedings.
FFAW-Unifor is also reiterating the recommendations brought forward during the federal election in connection with the need for increased enforcement to protect the integrity of the owner-operator fishery and the sustainability of our coastal communities.
“To legitimately promote long-term sustainability in the fishing sector, it is essential that Owner-Operator and Fleet Separation regulations be vigorously enforced to ensure an end to illegal controlling agreements,” continued Sullivan. “The federal regulations must be implemented in a way that brings consequences to the processing companies who illegally control inshore fishing licenses and continue to undermine the very purpose of these regulations.”
FFAW-Unifor also welcomes two Newfoundland and Labrador MPs to cabinet. Returning cabinet minister, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, will be assuming the Labor portfolio, while the Honourable Gudie Hutchings assumes the role of Minister of Rural Economic Development. Both are especially important portfolios to FFAW-Unifor members.
Minister Murray represents the British Columbia riding of Vancouver Quadra and has previously served as Minister for Digital Government as well as President of the Treasury Board.
“FFAW members look forward to working with Minister Murray to address the challenges facing our industry and be a leader in ensuring that the inshore fishery continues to play a significant role in the economic development and sustainability of coastal communities in Newfoundland and Labrador,” Sullivan concluded.
For media inquiries, please contact Courtney Glode at [email protected] or call/text 79-743-4445.