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Devastated shrimp fishery could affect thousands; government must act: McCurdy

Updated: Dec 3, 2018

New Democratic Party Leader Earle McCurdy today added his support to a call for an immediate halt to all shrimp fishing activity in Shrimp Fishing Area 6 (SFA6) off the northeast coast of Newfoundland and the southeast coast of Labrador.

Fish Food and Allied Workers [FFAW-UNIFOR] recommended the halt in response to indications that the SFA6 shrimp stock has declined sharply over the past year.

“The economic implications of this development are potentially devastating for thousands of fish harvesters, plant workers, and processors, and their communities, in Newfoundland and Labrador,” McCurdy said. He says it would be irresponsible to allow fishing to continue until a full assessment is done of both the resource situation and the impact on various user groups.

“It’s time for the federal government to recognize the principle of adjacency and put an end to the so-called LIFO [last in, first out] policy,” McCurdy said.

He called on the provincial government to quickly support the call for a halt to fishing until a full assessment of the situation is completed. He says the province should also re-activate the All-Party Committee on Northern Shrimp that made representations in Ottawa in support of the province’s shrimp industry.

“The decline in shrimp stocks is part and parcel of environmental changes which have seen a dramatic increase in abundance of cod stocks off northeast Newfoundland and Labrador. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans needs to move away from its obsession with stifling any kind of commercial cod fishery, and allow the cod industry to rebuild as the cod resource rebuilds,” McCurdy added.


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