Seasonally mild weather that delayed herring from normal fall migration patterns into Bonne Bay, combined with recent gales preventing harvesters from fishing has resulted in many inshore fish harvesters not catching their available quotas. Harvesters are concerned that they will not be able to reach their quotas before the season closes on December 31, 2017.
As a result, FFAW-Unifor supported a season extension past the original December 31 date, however DFO is only willing to open on January 1st with an interim of the 2018 quota. In response, FFAW requested a one-time change of the management cycle to March 31, 2018 which was supported by industry, however DFO has yet to issue a decision.
“We’ve made a very reasonable request here that harvesters are willing to accept going forward and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be granted,” said staff representative, Jason Spingle. Processing plants intend to cease operations for few days at Christmas, so harvesters will have very little time between that and the New Year. Given all of the factors outlined, harvesters are hoping that DFO will seriously consider the FFAW’s proposal.