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Thursday, March 3, 2016

March 3, 2016

 

For Immediate Release

 

Opposition Wants Scientific Assessment of Shrimp Stock Now

 

Paul Davis, Leader of the Official Opposition, said a full scientific assessment of the state of the shrimp stock is needed now to determine whether the smaller survey completed last year paints a true picture of the health of the resource. Davis raised the issue while addressing a major rally hosted by the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-Unifor) in St. John’s on Thursday.

 

“Decisions affecting our shrimp industry need to be evidence-based, grounded on scientific studies coupled with landing data from our harvesters,” said Davis. “The all-party committee on shrimp struck in 2014 made a very clear recommendation that full scientific assessments of the health of the stocks should be conducted each year, not just every two years. The smaller yearly survey is inadequate to paint a true picture of what’s happening with the resource and a great many communities and families depend on Ottawa getting this right. Anything less than a full annual scientific assessment is insufficient.”

 

“The Prime Minister was elected on a platform that included a strong commitment to fisheries science. I look forward to hearing an update from our federal Members of Parliament on the progress they are making to bring scientific principles to the management of our fisheries resources,” said Davis. “I encourage our province’s fisheries minister to be vigorous in pressing for a full assessment of the state of the stock. I understand that the federal department has had the survey results since December, so there has been ample time since then to plan a major stock assessment. Our provincial all-party committee will certainly be pressing for movement on this. Without a sound fishery management plan supported by strong scientific and harvester data, we cannot determine what the shrimp biomass can sustain today and in years to come.”

 

On a related matter, Davis called for Ottawa to move forward on its commitment to review the last in, first out policy that is hurting people employed in our province’s shrimp sector. The federal leader before the election and the federal fisheries minister after the election both promised such a review.

 

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Media Contact:

 

Heather MacLean,

 

Director of Communications,

 

Office of the Official Opposition

 

(709) 729 6105,

 

heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca

 

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