May 26, 2003
(Fisheries and Aquaculture)
Shrimp quotas reflect the needs of inshore fisheries, but Minister cautions there may be a shift in federal public policy on science
Yvonne Jones, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, today responded to the announcement of the 2003 Shrimp Management Plan by Robert Thibault, federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.
"I am pleased to see the management plan reflects the need for the inshore fishers to benefit from the resource with the federal government’s decision to change its historical allocation of quota between inshore and offshore harvesters," said Minister Jones. "We have lobbied the federal government on this issue and it is evident that the federal minister has accommodated the inshore fishers in this allocation. By supporting the inshore fishery with additional shrimp resources we are able to secure more onshore processing jobs now and in coming years, and also allow more harvesters to benefit from the shrimp fishery.
"We have consistently told the federal government that allocated shrimp quotas must be provided to the inshore harvesters, with product landed and processed in plants in our province."
Historically, the northern shrimp fishery was prosecuted exclusively by offshore vessels from throughout Atlantic Canada and Quebec from 1979 to 1996 when inshore vessels from Newfoundland and Labrador, and a small number from Quebec, were granted some access to this resource. Today, there are 17 permanent offshore licence holders of which eight are from our province and there are approximately 380 inshore temporary permit holders.
Since the introduction of the inshore fleet in SFA 6, the inshore and offshore sectors have agreed upon a 90 per cent inshore, 10 percent offshore split of any increases in this area. This sharing arrangement has been preserved in the current management plan. The inshore harvesting sector has also been given the opportunity for expanded fisheries in SFA 4, SFA 5, and SFA 7.
Minister Jones stated: "We do not support the allocation of shrimp to science and we were able to pressure the federal government to reduce the allocation from 8,000 to under 4,000 tonnes. While I recognize that this is not a ‘quota allocation’ but rather is a temporary allocation for a pilot project to raise revenue for scientific data. I am concerned that this could be an indicator of a shift in federal government policy on how science is conducted in the future. We recognize that science is important and necessary, however we have to question why the federal government feels the need to use our resource to raise money to meet its responsibility for good conservation and management."
Media contact: Cynthia Layden Barron, Communications, (709) 729-3733
2003 05 26 4:15 p.m.