Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard,
July 20, 2016
I write to you on behalf of inshore scallop fishermen from the south coast of Newfoundland (fishing zone 3Ps) who are requesting that fishing restrictions imposed on them be lifted immediately.
More specifically, the fishermen — who are restricted to fishing on the Northern scallop bed on the St. Pierre Bank — be allowed to once again fish on the St. Pierre Bank’s other two scallop areas, the Southern and Middle beds.
Those beds have been reserved for the Nova Scotia offshore fleet since 2006, when — upon the recommendation of David Hooley — the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans implemented fleet separation for sea scallops.
Inshore fishermen, however, are having a harder and harder time making a go of it, particularly in light of the 22 per cent decline in the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for 3Ps sea scallops in 2016, combined with the downturn in other fisheries such as crab.
The south coast fishermen — who reside closest to the scallop fishing grounds — were encouraged this past May when the Liberal Party of Canada adopted a resolution calling on the Government of Canada to make “adjacency” the defining principle when it comes to deciding who gets to catch the resource.
More importantly, the federal government's recent decision to eliminate the Last-in, First-out policy in the northern shrimp fishery off Newfoundland and Labrador in favour of a proportional sharing arrangement that recognizes the principle of adjacency was particularly welcome.
The south coast fishermen believe the adjacency principle should carry over to sea scallops on the St. Pierre Bank and urge you to eliminate existing fishing restrictions in favour of a fairer sharing arrangement.
St. John’s, NL
The Honourable Judy Foote, Liberal MP Bonavist-Trinity-Burin, and Minister of Public Services and Procurement
The Honourable Steve Crocker, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Newfoundland and Labrador