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Newfoundland and Labrador fishers say commercial cod fishery should not reopen

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The union representing inshore fish harvesters in Newfoundland and Labrador is calling on the federal government to reverse its recent decision to reopen the commercial Northern cod fishery.

Greg Pretty, president of the 14,000-member Fish, Food and Allied Workers union, told reporters today that the Northern cod stocks have not recovered enough to be fished once again by what he calls “offshore draggers.”

For the first time in more than 30 years the Fisheries Department last week reopened the commercial cod fishery with a total allowable catch of 18,000 tonnes for the 2024 season.

Pretty says about 1,000 tonnes will go to Canadian and foreign offshore fishing fleets.

Following the press conference today, the union shared a 2015 letter it received from the federal Liberals promising to allocate the first 115,000 tonnes of a commercial cod fishery to inshore fishers.

He called on the Liberals to reaffirm that commitment and to restore the province’s stewardship of the Northern cod fishery instead of open a commercial fishery this season.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2024.

The Canadian Press