LaVie supports call for more data on mackerel fishery closure
Souris –A surprise early closure to the mackerel fishery by the federal government has Island fishers asking questions and Souris-Elmira MLA and Opposition Fisheries Critic Colin LaVie supporting calls for more data from DFO about the reasons for the decision.
"Fishermen were caught off guard by the early closing of the mackerel fishery. They didn’t know a closure was coming and haven’t been able to get a good explanation for why. The secrecy around this decision has a lot of people questioning what the motives were for it but our four Liberal MP’s and the MacLauchlan government seem fine with keeping fishers in the dark,” says LaVie.
The mackerel fishery for Area 16 includes most of the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence and includes fishing areas in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Quebec. Typically the mackerel fishery runs from May 15 to December 31. This year DFO announced a closure to the mackerel fishery on October 14 effective that evening. Despite suggestions that the closure was due to quota management DFO refuses to release catch data to support the decision.
Lavie added his support to a public call from the Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association for DFO to release the catch data used to make the decision to close the mackerel fishery months early.
“Fishers are just looking for an explanation of how this happened and they can’t seem to get any answers from DFO or the province. Somebody should have talked to the fishermen and the PEIFA before this decision was made. If this decision was based on sound science there should be no trouble providing data to support it. If not then Island fishers deserve to know why the province and our four Liberal MP’s stood by and let that happen," says LaVie.