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Canadian Government Reduces Newfoundland Halibut Quota Share

Sustainability Politics +2 more

CANADA - The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) announced last week that it will no longer honour the longstanding stable sharing arrangement on the Gulf of St Lawrence halibut quota.

Under the stable sharing arrangement set in 2007, the 4R region of Newfoundland and Labrador held a 32 per cent share of the gulf halibut quota.

The stable sharing arrangement has been reinforced in quota increases in consecutive years as the halibut quota increased.

The stable sharing arrangement is now being changed by Minister Gail Shea, so that the 2015 sharing arrangement will result in the Newfoundland share being reduced to 24 per cent, a 7.5 per cent decrease in share.

This follows a decision made by the Canadian government where harvesters on the south coast (3Ps) of Newfoundland were not given consideration for their historic share of halibut catch.

FFAW-Unifor President Keith Sullivan says: “This is a disgraceful and desperate attempt by the Conservatives to maintain their federal seats in the Maritime Provinces, at the cost to the economic sustainability of Newfoundland and Labrador, where the Conservatives hold no seats.

“These continued attacks by the federal Conservative government on rural Newfoundland and Labrador are shameful,” Mr Sullivan added.

“The federal government seems to be under the impression that the economic sustainability Newfoundland and Labrador is unimportant to Canada. Recent analyses by others, such as BMO, suggest the contrary. The fishery is the economic future of our province but with management trends like this we will have no future.”