More than 250 fish harvesters from the 3K area packed into a room at the Mount Peyton Hotel on Wednesday to discuss the future of their crab fishery. Harvesters expressed serious frustration and concern about quota cuts suggested by Department of Fisheries and Oceans officials in snow crab advisory meetings last week.
“Fish harvesters are not interested in taking every last fish out of the water. We want a sustainable fishery and we do not believe the science supports drastic cuts in our area suggested by DFO,” said Trevor Jones, a fish harvester and crab committee representative from Green Bay.
In Wednesday’s meeting, harvesters and FFAW representatives reviewed this year’s snow crab stock assessment which provided no basis for the proposed cuts. Harvesters also expressed concerns over how DFO’s precautionary approach framework will be applied in the future and how that will further erode the fishery in the area.
“The message from our members in Grand Falls on Wednesday is that we must mobilize and show a united front in the face of these potential cuts. Harvesters are not willing to accept the continued lack of respect and engagement from DFO and they will be making their voices heard in St. John’s next week,” said Keith Sullivan, President of FFAW-Unifor.
Harvesters from all areas of the province will gather in St. John’s next week on Wednesday, March 20 for a rally at the Delta Hotel. The rally begins at 12:00pm. All fish harvesters, plant workers, and concerned citizens are encouraged to attend.