Shutdown of Mackerel and Spring Herring Fishing Unacceptable
Updated: Mar 30
I am deeply disappointed to hear the announcement by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans on the cancellation of the mackerel and spring herring fishing season.
This decision will impact fishers in the province, just weeks before their season is to begin.
The Minister indicated in the release that the Southern Gulf spring herring has been in a critical state for nearly 20 years. This clearly shows that not enough proactive work has been done to rectify this issue, leaving our Island fishers to pay the price.
Let me be clear, ensuring the sustainability and longevity of our fishery is crucial, however, we must ensure that the interventions we take do not impede on the livelihoods of those in our Island fishing community.
While this market may seem like a minimal loss to some in an economic sense, many Island fishers rely on these species of fish for fresh bait in our lobster fishery. This will be leaving some fishermen now scrambling to find alternatives with such short notice.
The timing of this decision is unacceptable. I am calling on our provincial Minister of Fisheries and Communities to work with the federal Minister of Oceans and Fisheries to come up with a solution that will not hurt our Island fishermen as they head into their season.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
March 30, 2022