A new approach to Newfoundland and Labrador vessel replacement rules, along with the introduction of enterprise combining, represents a significant change in the management of the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador. It allows fishers greater control in their enterprise, more opportunities for individual choices based on economic and operational circumstances; and greater industry empowerment and accountability.
This Ocean-to-Plate approach will lead to an ecologically sustainable, economically viable and internationally competitive fishery over the long-term.
Where we are
The current vessel replacement policy of Fisheries and Oceans Canada is an Atlantic-wide policy which was introduced in the late 1980s to limit capacity growth in competitive fisheries - particularly groundfish. The current policy applies to vessels under 64�11" and defines capacity in terms of cubic number (volume) measurements and vessel length barriers. Although the policy is Atlantic-wide in nature, its application can vary based on regional factors.
This policy has led to the development of vessels which are deeper/wider, less stable and less fuel efficient. The policy also contributes to seasonality and fish quality, particularly for enterprises in the 35� to 64�11" fleet sector.
The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Fishing Industry Renewal consultation process confirmed an almost universal consensus among industry stakeholders on the need for changes in Newfoundland and Labrador Region�s vessel replacement rules including the elimination of cubic number measurements and certain length barriers. A recent survey of licence holders conducted by the Fish Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) indicated widespread support for a relaxation of the cubic number and length barrier rules.
Where we�re going
DFO will implement significant changes in the Newfoundland and Labrador vessel replacement policy in conjunction with the introduction of enterprise combining. The new Newfoundland and Labrador policy eliminates cubic measurements criteria and has only three length barriers: 39�11", 64�11", and 89�11".
The revised Newfoundland and Labrador vessel replacement rules will provide Core enterprise owners with the flexibility to acquire vessels based on their allocations and the distance from shore that they fish. It allows Cre enterprise owners to acquire larger vessels, which will address issues of seasonality, fish quality, crew comfort and safety, fuel efficiency and other operational requirements. The new rules are simpler and fundamentally improve the nature of DFO�s relationship with industry on this issue; while reducing DFO�s administrative and enforcement rules.
The new rules have been developed to meet the needs of the NL Region�s current fleet of Core enterprises which broadly consists of:
In accordance with the current fleets and fishing zones, the new rules and conditions will apply to Core enterprise owners in the NL region effective immediately. Existing Newfoundland and Labrador vessel replacement rules will continue to apply to non-Core enterprise owners.
35� to 64�11"
The cubic number (volume) restrictions in the former vessel replacement policy will be eliminated.
Core enterprise owners in the fleet sector using 35� to 64�11" vessels who opt to acquire a larger vessel must understand that it will not result in changes in allocations, fleet shares or access. For example, individuals currently fishing in the nearshore area who opt to acquire a vessel up to 64�11" will not be able to use this vessel as justification for access/allocations in the offshore area in future.
Core enterprise owners who opt to acquire a 65� to 89�11" vessel will continue to operate on the basis of inshore licensing policies applicable to vessels under 65 feet, including Core, fleet separation, owner-operator, no freezing-at-sea, and others.
All Core enterprise owners using vessels 35� to 64�11"who avail of the flexibility in the revised Newfoundland and Labrador vessel replacement rules will be required to fish under an Individual Harvesting Restriction (IHR) regime in commercially significant fisheries.
These changes will be in effect immediately and can be applied in the 2007 fishing season. Over the next several months, DFO will work closely with fleet sectors to implement changes, however,the administrative workload associated with the changes is significant and processing of registration may take some time.
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