Late Monday, CBC reported a federal government announcement is forthcoming this week that will temporarily suspend the much-debated and controversial last in, first out (LIFO) policy in the shrimp fishery.
CBC stated that a seven-person panel will be appointed to study that policy and will report its findings by mid-June.
It also said the shrimp fishery in SFA 4 and 5 will continue as planned, but area 6 will be suspended pending the panel’s report.
For months there has been much speculation about the fate of 2016 northern shrimp quotas, particularly in SFA (shrimp fishing area) 6, located adjacent to the northeast coast of Newfoundland and the southeast coast of Labrador.
On Feb. 23, the Fish Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) surprised some when it publicly called for an immediate halt to all northern shrimp fishing activity in SFA 6, setting off a series of union-organized public rallies across the province.
The call for a halt, the union explained, was in response to reports that the fishable biomass for SFA 6 has declined sharply over the past year. Recent indications from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) science suggest that the fishable shrimp biomass in shrimp fishing area SFA 6 could be down as much as 40 per cent compared to the 2015 levels.