Gander, NL – Conservative Shadow Minister for Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Clifford Small, released the following statement after the Trudeau government refused to increase quotas for Northern Cod and the Atlantic Mackerel moratorium continues:
“Trudeau’s Fisheries Minister, Joyce Murray, has once again ignored fishing industry stakeholders and harvesters by refusing to modestly increase fish quotas. A full survey assessment of fish stocks in Newfoundland has not been completed since 2019 and now because the Liberals failed to live up to their multiple promises to the industry, working people who make their living in the fishing industry will suffer.
“The Trudeau government has failed to live up to its commitments on fisheries science and they are punishing working people without a second thought as a result. This arbitrary decision was made because Trudeau’s Minister failed to complete stock surveys in 2022, which would have gathered vital evidence for making a sensible decision for cod stocks. The Trudeau Government continues to ignore harvester data; harvesters I have spoken to consistently report catch rates many times higher than traditional levels”. The Liberal government is not making evidence-based decisions and this is hurting families across Newfoundland and Labrador. Neglecting the abundant catch rates, in setting the quota, is a slap in the face to fishermen and plant workers throughout the region’s cod fishing area (2J3KL), at a time when they are already reeling from decreased earnings from the crab fishery.
“In a second blow to fishers and harvesters, Minister Murray decided to keep the Atlantic mackerel fishery closed for the 2023 season, against recommendations from the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans (FOPO) to match the American mackerel quota for 2023. This all points to another season of frustration and economic loss throughout Atlantic Canada for fishermen and processors who depend on mackerel to make a living and who have observed mackerel, in abundance, again, this year.
“Once again, the Trudeau government are showing Atlantic Canadians and our fishermen and the fish processors what they truly think of them, by allowing our fishing industry to suffer thanks to Liberal neglect. Common sense Conservatives will remove the gatekeepers and bring home more powerful paycheques for Canadians from coast to coast to coast. We will bring home a common sense approach and stand with families that make a living from the fishing industry in Atlantic Canada.”