All-party committee on federal shrimp allocations announced

Melissa Jenkins
Published on February 29, 2016

The provincial Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture has announced the return of an all-party committee on federal shrimp quota allocations.

“I have reconvened the all-party committee as this is an urgent matter that demands a unified provincial voice,” Minister Steve Crocker said. “There is a general consensus throughout Newfoundland and Labrador that decisions regarding shrimp allocations should reflect the principle of adjacency and respect the value of both the inshore and offshore fleet sectors; LIFO does neither of these things.”

The minister will be one of four Liberals that will sit on the new committee. Representatives from the Progressive Conservatives and NDPs will also take part.

“We are reconvening the committee... (to stand on a) united front in Ottawa,” Crocker said.

Crocker has been busy in the past few weeks with the announcement of potential shrimp quota cuts and the possibility of the closure of processing plants in the province.

When asked what stance the department takes, Crocker said, he would have to wait until the committee meets.

Gerry Gros, Mayor of Anchor Point, a town with a fish harvesting plant, is disappointed about the decision for an all-party committee for politicians and political affiliates.

“I would like to see representation from fish harvesters, plant workers and community leaders,” Gros said. “It doesn’t have to be dozens and dozens of people. But there should be one representative from each organization.”

Liberal members on the committee will include Crocker, St. Barbe-L’anse aux Meadows MHA and Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development, Christopher Mitchelmore, Harbour Grace-Port de Grave MHA Pam Parsons and Derrick Bragg, MHA for Fogo-Cape Freels.

Progressive Conservative members include Kevin Parsons, MHA for Cape St. Francis and Ferryland MHA Keith Hutchings. From the NDP will be Lorraine Michael, MHA for St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi.

The committee meets today for the first time.

A rally is planned in St. John’s for Thursday 3 by the FFAW and local inshore fish harvesters to “stand up for adjacency” to coincide with the Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee meeting.

There will also be a rally in St. Anthony on the same date.