This afternoon, DFO announced that the groundfish fishery in 3Ps would be opening on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. This includes cod, Greenland halibut, hake, skate, as well as bycatch for Atlantic halibut.
The fishery is not open for the offshore dragger fleet for 3Ps cod at this time. FFAW will continue to promote a sustainable cod harvest for inshore harvesters in 3Ps. This must include DFO understanding that inshore harvesters in 3Ps must have exclusive access to cod at these low levels. The last time the quota was below 10,000 MT, the offshore industrial dragger fleet did not participate in the fishery.
Keith Sullivan was in Ottawa this week and had discussions with DFO officials, Members of Parliament and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans regarding the challenges in 3Ps. These discussions focused on the value of the cod resource to inshore harvesters.
The cod stocks in 3Ps are in a vulnerable state and the federal government must protect the resource and the communities adjacent by removing the offshore draggers from fishing in the area.