March 31, 1996
The national body representing Canada’s professional fishermen condemned the Department of Fisheries and Oceans today for downloading an unfair and isproportionate share of the cost of restructuring the West Coast salmon fleet on the backs of West Coast fishermen.
“The DFO’s fleet downsizing plan repeats the errors of past licensing policies - policies that are largely responsible for the crisis today” according to Daniel Bernier, Executive Director of the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters.
“The DFO never seems to learn and never seems to listen to the fishing community. The Department is systematically ignoring key recommendations of the Pacific Round Table”, Bernier said. “This plan will result in even more over-capitalization and over-capacity in the reduced fleet”, he added.
While the Pacific Roundtable agreed that the salmon fleet needs to be downsized and restructured, the method of achieving fleet restructuring announced by the Minister on Friday disregarded many of the Roundtable recommendations, with the result that the salmon fishery will be burdened with massive costs at a time when it is faced with poor returns and low prices.
“The DFO’s plan won’t solve anything. It will only push people out of the fishery and make it more expensive for those that remain” Bernier concluded.
You can see the media release in its original format here.