St. John’s, NL – Fish harvesters fed up with the breakdown of fisheries management in Newfoundland and Labrador are expressing their frustration today after the announcement of significant cuts to snow crab quotas.
“What we’re seeing is the erosion of shared stewardship of our fisheries,” said Nelson Bussey, an inshore harvester from Port de Grave. “Participation in consultations with DFO has become meaningless when all harvester knowledge and input is completely ignored.”
Cuts to snow crab quotas vary by area, with some areas seeing up to 50 per cent reductions in quota. Quota decreases that were presented to fish harvesters by DFO during consultations were much less than those announced in the management plan.
“Fish harvester knowledge and experience is crucial to the management of our fisheries, but it feels like we’ve gone back 25 years to a time when no one listened to harvesters” said Robbie Green, an inshore harvester from Old Perlican. “There was a time when we felt DFO was actually taking our point of view to heart. That time is long gone.”
“Fish harvesters share the concern about the sustainability of our fish resources. We want to work together with DFO science and management officials to make the best decisions possible for our fisheries and our communities,” continued Bussey. “Continuing to ignore harvesters by moving away from a shared stewardship model of management will do nothing to improve what is already a very desperate situation facing our fishery.”
For media inquiries, please contact:
Courtney Glode, FFAW Communications