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FISH-NL meets with premier, fisheries minister

FISH-NL executive members (from left) Jason Sullivan, president Ryan Cleary, Boyd Lavers and Richard Gillett met with Premier Dwight Ball and Fisheries Minister Steve Crocker on Thursday.
FISH-NL executive members (from left) Jason Sullivan, president Ryan Cleary, Boyd Lavers and Richard Gillett met with Premier Dwight Ball and Fisheries Minister Steve Crocker on Thursday.

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) met with Premier Dwight Ball and Fisheries Minister Steve Crocker on Thursday.

In a news release, the group said it is pleased the provincial government supports a proposal for flexibility in this year’s harvesting rules, including buddying up so harvester cans reduce expenses. 

“Governments can’t magically produce more fish, so they must do all they can to make it easier for harvesters to get through the current crisis and keep their heads above water,” FISH-NL president Ryan Cleary said following the hour-and-a-half meeting

“The premier gets that.”

The release noted the decision on flexibility lies ultimately with Ottawa.

A variety of topics were discussed during the meeting, including opening the province to outside buyers, the need for an independent assessment of federal fisheries management/science, inshore access to scallops on the St. Pierre Bank and NL access to crab-fishing grounds off the Great Northern Peninsula.

The principles of adjacency and historical attachment was also a main theme of the meeting, the release stated, while the inconsistency of fisheries policy in Newfoundland and Labrador compared to Maritimes, such as boat leases, and the importance of a vote by the Labour Relations Board to decide representation of inshore harvesters – FISH-NL or the FFAW – was also raised.

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