FFAW pushes Trudeau administration to commit to 115,000-metric-ton cod quota promise for inshore harvesters

A marketing effort by the FFAW to keep cod quota in the hands of inshore harvesters
The Newfoundland Fish, Food, and Allied Workers Union is pushing the Canadian government to commit to 115,000 metric tons of cod quota for the inshore cod fishery | Photo courtesy of the Fish, Food, and Allied Workers Union
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The Fish, Food, and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) is pushing the Canadian government, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau specifically, to commit to giving 115,000-metric-tons (MT) of the Northern cod quota to inshore cod harvesters in Newfoundland and Labrador first. 

The FFAW has pushed for a “buddy-up” in the 2J3KL Northern cod fishery – an arrangement that allows two license holders with valid licenses for the same species, fishing area, and gear type to operate from the same vessel. The arrangement would allow for full utilization of the 2,431 cod licenses issued in the fishery, as according to the FFAW, over 600 licenses were inactive in 2023.

FFAW sent out a survey to license holders, and of those who returned the ballots, 89 percent supported some form of buddy-up in the cod fishery.

“Owner-operator fish harvesters who rely on the cod fishery have systematically and democratically worked over the last several months to find ways to improve our northern cod stewardship fishery for the economic feasibility of the 2J3KL fleet,” FFAW President Greg Pretty said. “This fleet determined that the way to move forward was approving buddy-up but including important criteria that would ensure the fishery lasts more than a few days.”

Despite the support and the FFAW’s advocacy for the program, the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) rejected the proposal for buddy-up in the 2024 season; the FFAW said it fears that the reason behind the rejection was a removal of cod quota from license holders. 

“Harvesters are very fearful that the Liberal Government is positioning themselves to give away the northern cod resource to offshore draggers this fishing season,” Pretty said. “We’ve been tipped off that these Liberal MPs who are on their way out are looking for ways to give their corporate buddies a leg-up before they move on, sacrificing our communities and historical commitments along the way.”

In response to the DFO rejecting the buddy-up proposal, FFAW called on Trudeau to commit to giving the first 115,000 MTs of quota for Northern cod to the inshore fishery first before the government releases its management plan for the season. 

“The current government has not done our province any favors ...

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