Province’s Fisheries Minister must get involved in solving West coast halibut problems
NDP Fisheries and Aquaculture Critic Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA, The Straits-White Bay North) says the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture must abandon his “no plan, no action” agenda and get to work on dealing with the halibut quota on the Great Northern Peninsula.
Mitchelmore stated that there is a lot of anger and frustration because of DFO’s handling of this fishery. While there appears to be an abundance of the resource, harvesters feel there are too many people getting very little time to catch too small a quota. Insufficient DFO science is often touted as a reason for this frustration.
And yet, the province’s Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture remains silent.
“I do not see Minister Dalley doing anything to deal with this problem,” said Mitchelmore. “He does not seem to be putting any pressure on the federal minister to get up to speed on the science so we have a better grasp on whether we can increase the quota. He is not meeting with the harvesters affected in order to assess their concerns. He is doing nothing.”
Mitchelmore is calling on the Minister to get involved immediately in sorting out this conflict in a manner that will benefit the people and the industry he is responsible for serving.
“He is the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Does he think remaining invisible and silent on this serious issue is an appropriate way to do his job?” said Mitchelmore. “We need to see some action from him in the very near future.”