Fisheries workers waiting for word on ice relief, cod quota

NDP Fisheries Critic Lorraine Michael

While the federal government has final responsibility for many decisions related to the province’s fishing industry, the provincial government can lobby on behalf of residents – and should be doing exactly that, according to NDP Fisheries Critic Lorraine Michael.

Today in the House of Assembly’s Question Period, Michael asked government to respond on two current issues that are top-of-mind for those who work in the sector.

“Heavy ice conditions in parts of the province have left many fish harvesters and fish plant workers without a source of income,” she said.

“I ask the Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, will he inform us of any response he has received from the federal government to industry calls for income support, including a timeline for when harvesters and plant workers might have a decision?”

As cod stocks slowly rebuild, there will be a small quota of the fish available for harvest this year; Michael wanted to know government’s stand on who should have access to that quota.

“The FFAW has recommended that what is expected to be a significantly reduced cod quota in fishing area 3Ps be made available to the inshore sector only, which is what happened the last time the quota was 10,000 metric tonnes or less,” she said.

“I ask the Minister, does he support making the 3Ps cod fishery inshore-only at those quota levels?”

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