January / 1999
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Now is the time for fishermen/women to come together to make this work. We must be prepared to take over more of the management of all of our fisheries, on our terms. Our members have directed the Local port reps and executive to try to work together with other organizations in 4Vn to work towards this goal, and we are hopeful for progress towards one management board for 4Vn. Even the Area Manager for DFO wants to work with us towards this goal. We are doing this now, with fixed-gear groundfish. Slowly but surely we can work together on other issues, and in other species.
The Report of the Panel Studying Partnering was released in December. This report clearly reflects the concerns that inshore fishermen, across Canada, have with DFO's agenda.
We have never had a more important opportunity to develop a community-based model for management of the fishery, rather than the corporate model that could only serve to destroy our communities. Now is the time that we have to get fishermen working together!
- "The panel's first recommendation then is to urge the minister of Fisheries and Oceans not to go forward at this stage with legislation (sections 17 to 22 of proposed Fisheries Act) for partnering....
"The panel's second recommendation is to urge the minister and DFO to pursue co- management and partnering as an important building block for the fishery of the future....
"The panel's third recommendation is to urge DFO and all its potential partners to promote transparency....
"The panel's fourth recommendation is to establish a flexible timeframe in co-management agreements.
"The panel's fifth recommendation is to urge DFO to review and coordinate efforts to develop a community-based management approach...."
SENATE COMMITTEE CONCERNED WITH ITQs
Another report came out last month that also reflects the concerns of most fishermen across Canada. The Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries tabled its report, Privatization and Quota Licensing in Canada's Fisheries. Among its recommendations the Committee calls for:
Hallelujah! We can only hope that DFO is listening as much as the Senate Committee!
no new individual quota or ITQ licensing until Parliamentary debate has occurred and public statements have been issued;
full assessment of coastal community, Aboriginal and other needs related to the social and economic effects of privatization;
more equitable distribution of the fishery resource to allow better opportunities for small-scale fishers.
DRAW FOR SEA URCHIN PERMITS
Applications have to be in to DFO Area Office in Point Edward by Tuesday, Feb. 9, 1999. The draw will take place 2 days later; 1:00 pm at the Nautical Institute, Port Hawkesburyduring a meeting of the Developing Species Advisory Board for Eastern Nova Scotia.
Victoria County – Two Permits – one each, north and south of Smokey
Cape Breton County – Four Permits - two from Bridgeport-East Bay to Victoria Co. line
– two from Richmond Co. line to Bridgeport-East Bay
Richmond County – Four Permits – two each, either side of St. Peter's Canal
All Core Fishers, who are registered in a port in one of these areas, and reside in ENS, are eligible to apply. They must agree to abide by all conditions in this fishery.
OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION
There are leases out for seismic exploration, and exploratory drilling, along the coast from Wreck Cove to Donkin,and also on Banquereau Bank. There is the possibility as well, of rich reserves throughout the Laurentian Channel.
There will be a meeting this winter with officials from the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board. It is very important that, at the very least, fishermen are consulted, with a view to eliminating adverse impacts on the fishery, and on our operations. There are many differing views on the idea that fishing and oil and gas exploration, and development, can co-exist in harmony. What's important to remember is that barring any great damage, there will be fish in the ocean long after they've sucked out all the oil and gas.
After intense lobbying we managed to stop the offshore from a winter index fishery in 4Vn. Now we are at work on the task of documenting how a sustainable groundfish fishery will only work if 4Vn is established as an inshore zone, only.
The outlook for groundfish is not improving much. The Minister followed the advice of the FRCC, and has called for no directed white hake fishery for anywhere in the region. Now the only quota we'll have will be a small halibut quota. Fishermen do not agree that there's a problem with hake, and they will be very hurt by the loss of the hake quota, after about 90 tonnes were caught here last year. Cod remains only as a by-catch.
KEEP IN TOUCH
Please offer your feedback on any issues you have concern about. We would also appreciate any feedback you have on the Newsletter, and on our Website . (have you checked it out?)
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