ST. JOHN’S, NL – FFAW-Unifor is pleased to announce the formation of a new fisheries committee focused on securing fair access to the growing groundfish resource in the waters adjacent to our province. The 2J3KLNO/NAFO Fair Access Working Group will seek fair and reasonable access to fish species for the traditional, adjacent, inshore owner-operator fleets of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Fair Access Working Group will focus primarily on groundfish species, such as greysole and turbot, where inshore owner-operator access has been unfairly denied or limited. The quotas for many of these emerging groundfish species are managed by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), an international body of representatives from countries all over the world, from Japan to Cuba.
The Working Group will be composed of approximately 20 members, mainly inshore fish harvesters. “The working group is the front line of our efforts for fair access,” said FFAW-Unifor President Keith Sullivan. “Access for the inshore owner-operator fleet means work for fish harvesters and plant workers, as well as the spinoff opportunities that arise under conditions of real economic development,” Sullivan added.
“We must ensure the voice of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians is well-represented at the international level when it comes to Canada defending our historical right to the resources in our waters,” said Tony Doyle, a working group member and Vice-President of the inshore sector of FFAW-Unifor. “By working together on behalf of our communities that depend on the fishery, we will advocate for access to the resources we’ve depended on for generations,” Doyle said.
The Committee’s mandate is to secure fair access for inshore harvesters in the growing groundfish fishery including access to redfish, greysole, American plaice and turbot. They will work towards achieving adjacency as a primary fisheries management principle and to secure value for the independent inshore owner-operator fleet which is the basis for a vibrant rural economy in our province. The committee will also work to obtain investment in marketing and infrastructure needed to grow a fishing-based economy.
“Together, our voice represents rural Newfoundland and Labrador and by working together we can give our communities a vibrant and sustainable future,” concluded Sullivan.
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