Enforcement details and commitment to having non-Indigenous fishing organizations involved in the negotiating process missing
SHEDIAC, NB, March 4, 2021 /CNW/ - Today the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans announced a path forward towards reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and the management of the fisheries.
- Same Seasons for Everyone and no new fishing effort - The Coalition of Atlantic and Quebec Fishing Organizations supports the Minister's commitment to conservation and same fishing seasons for everyone. As well, any new access to indigenous groups would be done through a "willing seller, willing buyer" program which is positive. However, further details need to be clarified to ensure that coastal communities can still fairly access and live off fisheries.
- More Enforcement Details Needed - We welcome DFO's public commitment to enforcement. However, enforcement of the existing rules has been inconsistent by DFO and caused conflict this past Fall. Details on the enforcement commitment by the Government of Canada for 2021 will be critical to ensuring the sustainability of the fishery and public safety in our communities.
- Short-term Plans Potentially Risky - We are concerned about the possibility of multiple short-term plans with individual First Nations. Short-term plans will create uncertainty and potential risk in the fishery.
- Formal Dialogue with non-Indigenous Fishers Missing - Although some dialogue has started with DFO, and is appreciated by the industry, non-Indigenous fishers need a defined process to be at the table. This is even more urgent if the plans are piece-meal and short term. The Coalition of Atlantic and Quebec fisheries is calling on DFO to convene a formal process where the voices of non-Indigenous fishers are at the table and can contribute to a strong sustainable fishery for all.
Over the past number of months, the Coalition has been engaging in discussions with DFO directly and educating elected officials in Atlantic Canada and Quebec to build a strong, sustainable fishery for everyone. There remains still significant work to be done before stability is brought to the fishery.
There cannot be any long-term solution to the fishery that does not recognize the voice of non-Indigenous fishers.
For more information on the activities of the Coalition, including background documents and polling on the views of Canadians visit www.1fishery.ca.
COALITION OF ATLANTIC AND QUÉBEC FISHING ORGANIZATIONS
We are a movement of fishermen committed to a sustainable healthy fishery and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
- Gulf Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board (GNSFPB)
- Maritime Fishermen's Union (MFU)
- PEI Fishermen's Association (PEIFA)
- Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du sud de la Gaspésie (RPPSG)
SOURCE Coalition of Atlantic and Quebec Fishing Organizations
For further information: MEDIA Coordination: Annie Chiasson, [email protected], +1 (506) 727-8160