Minister’s decision “encouraging” but sticking to decision is vital

NDP Fisheries Critic Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA, The Straits-White Bay North) today said he is encouraged by Fisheries Minister Darin King’s announcement that Ocean Choice International will not be granted a permanent processing exemption for redfish.

“This is what the NDP asked for in the wake of the OCI announcement of the closure of the Marystown plant,” Mitchelmore said. “I can only hope that the Minister will continue to refuse to let OCI dictate the terms of its own operation. The fact that he is considering some form of multi-year exemption is troubling, of course, but I would like to think he will hold strong against pressure from the company.

“Ocean Choice International is behaving as though it has some kind of divine right to the resource, when in actual fact Newfoundlanders and Labradorians should be getting the maximum benefit from our resources. The Government must stand firm on behalf of our resource and the people of this province,” Mitchelmore continued. “We have done this in the past for Hebron and Voisey’s Bay. We must not let companies dictate how our resources are developed – any of our resources, and that includes the fishery.

“The fish are not going to go anywhere and will be there when OCI, or any other company, is willing to harvest the resource for the good of the people of the province, the owners."

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