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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

No More Fisheries Job Giveaways, Says Crosbie
Grand Bank, NL (May 15, 2019) – PC Leader Ches Crosbie said the fisheries job giveaways have to end. As Premier, he won’t be walked over, the way Dwight Ball was.

In 2018, the Trudeau Liberals tried to give surf clam quota to the Maritimes at the expense of jobs in Grand Bank. Not wanting to upset Trudeau, the Ball Liberals clammed up while area residents feared for their livelihood.

A grassroots outcry and an ethics probe got this particular decision overturned – but others in the province have not fared so well from quota decisions made in Ottawa by Ministers from New Brunswick, British Columbia and elsewhere.

Ottawa doesn’t run Quebec mines or Manitoba farms or British Columbia sawmills, nor should it run the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery – our most important industry for local jobs. We brought this industry into Canada; we’ve relied on it for centuries; and we should be managing it under a joint Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Fisheries Management Board. This board should make the decisions about quotas, gear type and vessel size, not bureaucrats and politicians who have no stake here. A Crosbie government will not tolerate any mandatory, unilateral action by the federal government to remove quota from existing enterprises as demonstrated in the failed Grand Bank Clam Scam of 2018.

Trudeau’s plan to play ‘ecologist’ with our oceans has fish harvesters nervous, because there hasn’t been sufficient study or consultation about the implications, which could be severe. There are better strategies to rebuild declining stocks. One of them is to reduce the out-of-control seal population. A grown seal can consume 1.5 to 2 tonnes of fish per year, threatening cod stocks and the resources the cod require to thrive. A proper seal harvest will not only ease the pressure on fish stocks, but provide jobs in seal processing.

We also have to hold Ottawa to its obligation to step up fisheries science so we know what’s really going on with fish stocks, and not just speculating. It’s a big ocean, and there’s no reason why it can’t sustain fishing communities in our province for generations to come, if it’s managed properly. That means putting the resource in the control of the people who rely on it, and taking it from the Liberals who’ve been trading away people’s livelihoods like they were hockey cards.

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Media Contacts:
Bradley Russell: 709-746-1505
Denise Tubrett: 709-746-4070

Backgrounder

PC Fisheries Policies
1.5.1. Marine Protection Areas
The federal Liberal government, highly influenced by extremist environmentalists, has increased marine exclusion areas from 2 to 8.27% of our oceans and intends to further increase this exclusion area to 10%. While marine protection areas afford environmental protection, there has not been sufficient study or consultation with the fishing, or oil and gas, industries. We demand that our important industries be provided the careful analysis required before further decisions are taken.

1.5.2. Indigenous Access/Grand Bank Clam Issue
Our government will promote the enhancement of Indigenous access to our fishery resource. It should be attained through an open and transparent process by the federal government in collaboration with appropriate stakeholders. The resource would be available through voluntary transfer/sale from existing quota holders or with a total allowable catch (TAC) increase. There should be no mandatory, unilateral action by the federal government to remove quota from existing enterprises as demonstrated in the failed Grand Bank Clam issue in 2018.

1.5.3. Re-Building the Cod Fishery/Seal Hunt
A Crosbie government will take an honest approach to the cod fishery and seal hunt. Studies have shown that a grown seal can consume 1.5 to 2 tonnes of fish per year. A successful seal harvest is vital to addressing the increasing seal population, which will limit the pressure on our rebounding cod stocks. Our humane seal harvest, with full utilization of seal products from oil to leather to protein, can sustain jobs and communities while helping stocks recover. We will ensure the resources exist to support and market our industry properly.

1.5.4. Joint Management
A Crosbie government will call for joint management of our fishing industry alongside our federal counterparts through a board similar to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board. Practical regulation and administration in areas such as vessel size, gear type, and search and rescue are vital to a successful industry, and can only be realized with regional authority. We need a seat at the table.

1.5.5. Aquaculture
The aquaculture industry is key to the economic revival of rural Newfoundland and Labrador. Our government will champion an environmentally sustainable industry that provides long-term opportunities for our rural areas that are not to the detriment of our existing wild stocks. A Crosbie government will work to streamline the existing regulatory framework while increasing transparency in reporting and monitoring of the industry. Our rural economic security depends on a balanced approach to industry. Aquaculture projects must not be added to the Bill C-69 Project List.

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