DFO is hosting important meetings on a new management approach (precautionary approach) for snow crab around the province this week.
The first meetings took place Monday in St. John’s and Tuesday in Clarenville and reiterated DFO’s complete disregard for meaningful consultation with fish harvesters.
Elected fleet chairs around the province have been vocal regarding serious concerns coming out of DFO’s planned precautionary approach for snow crab.
“Harvesters are understandably angered at only being brought into the discussion at this late stage. FFAW-Unifor is calling on DFO to go back to the drawing board with consultations on these issues,” said FFAW-Unifor President Keith Sullivan.
Numerous issues have been highlighted by harvesters at the two meetings that have taken place to date.
There is significant concern about how reference points for zones such as the cautious or healthy zones will be set. DFO does not take into account the historical crab populations and differing marine ecosystems.
“Why are we being managed like Bonavista and Conception Bay, which are hundreds of miles away, when the trends in our area and what we’ve seen of our crab is more like what is happening on the other side of the line,” said Jim Chidley, fleet chair for the 8A region.
DFO has agreed to implement a working group as a first step in acknowledging the complete lack of consultation with the largest stakeholder. Harvesters are encouraged to attend upcoming meetings in your area to voice your concern.