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LIFO 'not a sustainable instrument of public policy': minister

Shrimp are cleaned by a crewman on board the Cape Ashley.
Shrimp are cleaned by a crewman on board the Cape Ashley.

Last In, First Out (LIFO) will be replaced according to a news release issued by Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc Wednesday afternoon.

“After a thorough review of the Ministerial Advisory Panel Report on the Northern Shrimp fishery’s Last In, First Out policy, I wish to confirm acceptance of its fundamental recommendation. The panel determined that after being in place for about 20 years, ‘LIFO is not a sustainable instrument of public policy,’ and should be replaced by a system of proportional sharing for the future,’’ LeBlanc said.

“Proportional Sharing is consistent with the approach used in most other Canadian fisheries with respect to stock and allocation management. Applying this principled approach of Proportional Sharing means that the inshore and offshore fleets as well as Indigenous Peoples will continue to share in the economic benefits of this precious resource. Sharing arrangements must also respect land claims agreements and the interests of Indigenous groups as well as the interests of adjacent coastal communities,’’ he added.

In addition, LeBlanc announced an interim quota for shrimp fishing in Area 6 (SFA) which will see offshore harvesters allocated 4,500 tonnes; inshore harvesters allocated 4,500 tonnes, and an allocation of 500 tonnes for an existing special allocation holder. 

He asked department officials to provide advice in the specific application of this program in keeping with the precautionary approach as well as the sustainability and long-term conservation of the fishery given the declines in the stock.

This input will be received in the coming weeks and it will include consideration of community impacts and Indigenous commitments and obligations.

“I look forward to receiving the Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee recommendations for the fishery following its meeting on July 7,’’ he said.

The panel employed to render this decision consisted of chair Paul Sprout and members Barbara Crann, Wayne Follett and Trevor Taylor.

In addition, more than a thousand harvesters, Indigenous peoples and industry representatives participated in the panel’s review, which brought home the vital importance of the northern shrimp fishery to all concerned.

“All of these diverse views were considered and I thank everyone who contributed their valuable insights,” LeBlanc said.

Keith Sullivan, president of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union, said that getting rid of LIFO is good news, but the breakdown of interim quotas is still a cause for concern.

He said at this point, the interim quota isn’t even enough to make for a paying trip for inshore harvesters, and based on the principle of adjacency, coastal communities should get priority.

“Proportional sharing, in itself, makes sense. But that has to be based on sound management principles like adjacency,” he said.

“LIFO being removed is a positive step generally, but we’ve got to see more details.”

“After a thorough review of the Ministerial Advisory Panel Report on the Northern Shrimp fishery’s Last In, First Out policy, I wish to confirm acceptance of its fundamental recommendation. The panel determined that after being in place for about 20 years, ‘LIFO is not a sustainable instrument of public policy,’ and should be replaced by a system of proportional sharing for the future,’’ LeBlanc said.

“Proportional Sharing is consistent with the approach used in most other Canadian fisheries with respect to stock and allocation management. Applying this principled approach of Proportional Sharing means that the inshore and offshore fleets as well as Indigenous Peoples will continue to share in the economic benefits of this precious resource. Sharing arrangements must also respect land claims agreements and the interests of Indigenous groups as well as the interests of adjacent coastal communities,’’ he added.

In addition, LeBlanc announced an interim quota for shrimp fishing in Area 6 (SFA) which will see offshore harvesters allocated 4,500 tonnes; inshore harvesters allocated 4,500 tonnes, and an allocation of 500 tonnes for an existing special allocation holder. 

He asked department officials to provide advice in the specific application of this program in keeping with the precautionary approach as well as the sustainability and long-term conservation of the fishery given the declines in the stock.

This input will be received in the coming weeks and it will include consideration of community impacts and Indigenous commitments and obligations.

“I look forward to receiving the Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee recommendations for the fishery following its meeting on July 7,’’ he said.

The panel employed to render this decision consisted of chair Paul Sprout and members Barbara Crann, Wayne Follett and Trevor Taylor.

In addition, more than a thousand harvesters, Indigenous peoples and industry representatives participated in the panel’s review, which brought home the vital importance of the northern shrimp fishery to all concerned.

“All of these diverse views were considered and I thank everyone who contributed their valuable insights,” LeBlanc said.

Keith Sullivan, president of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union, said that getting rid of LIFO is good news, but the breakdown of interim quotas is still a cause for concern.

He said at this point, the interim quota isn’t even enough to make for a paying trip for inshore harvesters, and based on the principle of adjacency, coastal communities should get priority.

“Proportional sharing, in itself, makes sense. But that has to be based on sound management principles like adjacency,” he said.

“LIFO being removed is a positive step generally, but we’ve got to see more details.”

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