The Fishery Was and Still is Our Reason for Being Here

I recently watched Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey on Issues and Answers, NTV, Oct. 25, where he mentioned the fishery and that was the reason for us being here.

I have mentioned that statement many times in my articles to the news media and open line shows over the last 40-plus years.

The last six years, under the leadership of Premier Dwight Ball, the word fishery was barely mentioned. He did say one day when a reporter questioned him about the fishery that he knew very little about the fishery, but that he knew that trout lived in Deer Lake. I too lived in Deer Lake for 23 years and knew and was friends of Dwight’s father, Bill and grandfather, Cecil, for all these years.

Many times I pleaded with Dwight to do something for the fishery, which has been in chaos for more than 30 years, but to no avail. But it was not entirely his fault as the majority of his elected members came from fishing communities and they were so unconcerned, as all that was on their mind was oil.

Maybe now that our oil and our province is in crisis, the politicians of all stripes can finally realize how important the fishery was and still is to the survival of this province and work to get it to its full potential and make our children proud.

I just came back from a trip down the Southern Shore, as far as Renews, where there once was a cod processing plant in almost every community and summertime they were blocked with cod. School children were making money, cutting out tongues.

Now all I see are skeletons of what it once was. It made my heart ache. This should never have happened because our fishery was neglected and still is by our politicians, both federal and provincial.

Oil and mining are only a blip on the radar, when it’s gone, it’s gone.

The fishery was and still is our reason for being here and can be our solution. My plea to the politicians is to start treating it with respect and maybe it will bring this province back from the brink of disaster.

 

Wilfred Bartlett
Green Bay South, N.L.

 

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