OTTAWA – Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, issued the following statement:
“After a thorough review of the Ministerial Advisory Panel Report on the Northern Shrimp fishery’s Last in, First Out (LIFO) policy, I wish to confirm acceptance of its fundamental recommendation. The panel determined that after being in place for about 20 years, “LIFO is not a sustainable instrument of public policy,” and should be replaced by a system of proportional sharing for the future.
Proportional Sharing is consistent with the approach used in most other Canadian fisheries with respect to stock and allocation management. Applying this principled approach of Proportional Sharing means that the inshore and offshore fleets as well as Indigenous Peoples will continue to share in the economic benefits of this precious resource. Sharing arrangements must also respect land claims agreements and the interests of Indigenous groups as well as the interests of adjacent coastal communities.
I have asked departmental officials to provide advice in the specific application of this way forward in keeping with our precautionary approach as well as the sustainability and long term conservation of the fishery given the declines in the stock. This input will be received in the coming weeks and it will include consideration of community impacts and Indigenous commitments and obligations.
At the same time, I look forward to receiving the Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee recommendations for the fishery following its meeting on July 7.
In the meantime, I am announcing an interim quota for the Shrimp Fishing Area (SFA) 6, which will enable fishing to start. The offshore harvesters will be allocated 4,500 tonnes; inshore harvesters will be allocated 4,500 tonnes, and there is an allocation of 500 tonnes for an existing special allocation holder.
In closing, I want to once again express my gratitude to the Panel – Chair Paul Sprout and members Barbara Crann, Wayne Follett and Trevor Taylor – for their hard work and dedication in delivering on their mandate to conduct an independent, open and fair review of the LIFO Policy. More than a thousand harvesters, Indigenous Peoples and industry representatives participated in the Panel’s review, which brought home to me the vital importance of the northern shrimp fishery to all concerned. All of these diverse views were considered and I thank everyone who contributed their valuable insights.”