There hasn’t been much talk during the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election about expanding jobs in the fishery.
Including such topics as limiting the concentration of enterprises and quotas in corporate or individual fishers’ hands, while making it so difficult for aspiring entrants to take over an existing enterprise, thus adding nail after nail to the coffin of fishing villages.
As far as I know, in Prince Edward Island, there is no equivalent of the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board.
In P.E.I. — in my understanding, anyway — prospective fishers can apply to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) directly to take over an existing enterprise and it will make the decisions, not an unelected, unaccountable board with unbelievably harsh and undemocratic rules and regulations, as in N.L.
To make myself absolutely clear, I am not talking about new quotas, but merely about allowing existing quotas and enterprises to be allocated to new fishers so as many people as possible can make a reasonable living from the sea and potentially help keep their fishing villages alive.
Corporate or individual concentration does not bode well for community survival.
I understood that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is extended to all provinces.
As Sir Walter Scott said, “It’s no fish ye’re buying — it’s men’s lives.”
Time for politicians to restore democracy to the fishery as in other economic pursuits.