Fisheries and Aquaculture
May 19, 2010
Ignores Principle of Adjacency
in Application of Northern Shrimp Quota
Today, the Honourable Clyde Jackman,
Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, responded to the announcement
made this week by the Honourable Gail Shea, federal Minister of
Fisheries and Ocean, in relation to the northern shrimp quota for shrimp
fishing area six. The Federal Government decision to ignore the
principle of adjacency in determining allocations for this area will be
detrimental to Newfoundland and Labrador said the minister.
"Against the advice of our government,
the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has decided to apply a
last-in first-out approach to quota allocation reductions," said
Minister Jackman. "This approach provides a greater level of protection
for the offshore sector rather than the inshore fleet. The impact of
this approach is that one group in the province is losing access and the
province's inshore harvesters will see their allocation reduced by
18,000 tonnes. There are principles of quota distribution that are far
more important to maintain than the last-in first-out approach. The
principle of adjacency must be paramount."
Newfoundland and Labrador is the only
province adjacent to this shrimp fishing area. There are approximately
1,500 harvesters and 2,600 plant workers involved in the cooked and
peeled shrimp industry in this province. The employment and revenue
generated from this fishery is extremely important to rural areas of the
province. The North of Fifty-Thirty Association on the Northern
Peninsula will be significantly impacted by the loss of this allocation.
This association is a group of groundfish dependent enterprises that
were given access to a shrimp quota in 2003. This allocation generated
revenue for approximately 350 inshore enterprises from the communities
of River of Ponds to Englee. These enterprises have been hit especially
hard by the recent decline in lobster prices and the low lumpfish and
The inshore sector was made a permanent
participant in the Northern shrimp fishery by the Federal Government in
2007 and therefore should not be subjected to the last-in first-out
approach. Having the inshore fleet take a disproportionate reduction in
their quota will seriously jeopardize their ability to participate in
this fishery. This will also impact many other regions of the province
that depend on this shrimp for processing activity.
"We are pleased that the Federal
Government did continue to provide access for the Innu Nation of
Labrador and the Fogo Island Co-op," said Minister Jackman. "However,
the continuation of the last-in first-out approach will mean these quota
holders will be removed should the expected decline in the overall quota
occur in coming years."
On April 26, Minister Jackman wrote
Minister Shea to explain the Provincial Government's position on the
northern shrimp quota for 2010. This took place immediately following
the meeting of the Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee in St. John's.
This committee recommended a substantial reduction in the total
allowable catch for shrimp fishing area six. Both the Provincial
Government and the province's fishing industry supported this quota
reduction based on scientific advice and the requirement of the Marine
Stewardship Certification. However, the province also took the position
that those adjacent to the resources should have priority access. This
has consistently been the provincial position across all fisheries.
"I advised the Federal Government that
the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador did not support removal of
any adjacent quota holders from this fishery," said Minister Jackman.
"We asked that Minister Shea consider the economic importance of this
resource to the people adjacent to it. The impact of this decision will
cause hardship for harvesters and seafood processors in this province,
particularly on the Northern Peninsula.
"The Federal Government is aware that our
province has been experiencing a very difficult year in the fishing
industry," added Minister Jackman. "While we understand that there are
challenges in other areas, decisions which reduce our access to adjacent
resources raise serious issues and concerns for the Newfoundland and
Labrador fishery. Our government will continue to recommend adjacency to
the resource as a primary consideration in the setting of quotas."
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Lori Lee Oates
Director of Communications
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
2010 05 19