May 26, 2015
News Release – for immediate release May 26, 2015
Equal sharing of new halibut quota applauded by PEIFA
The PEI Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA) applauds the recent announcement by the Department of Fisheries & Oceans Canada (DFO) on new Atlantic Halibut quota which sees an increase of 20% on the overall Total Allowable Catch (TAC).
This decision represents an increase for Prince Edward Island fishers from 3.4% to 12.5% of the new quota resulting in a total of 46 metric tonnes for 2015 and 2016.
All new quota will be distributed equally amongst the eight fleets within the in 4RST (Gulf of St. Lawrence) area.
The PEIFA feels this distribution of new quota is a great step towards correcting historic injustices and improving economic viability of the fleets. For decades, past sharing arrangements favored northern fleets and left out southern Gulf fishers.
Halibut stocks have been increasing in abundance within the Gulf for the past 15 years, and many Island fishers were frustrated with the lack of access to this economically important species adjacent to our fishing grounds.
PEIFA President Craig Avery states; “The decision on distribution of the new quota represents equality, fairness and adjacency which the PEIFA and other fishing organizations have been advocating for. “We believe all provinces deserve equal opportunity with this new tonnage allocation for halibut”.
PEI fishers have worked hard towards ensuring the success of a new management plan in 2014, which includes an industry led self-rationalization plan for buying out groundfish licenses.
The PEIFA in conjunction with local fishermen’s associations, Provincial and Federal Governments have also devoted considerable resources towards important halibut research in the southern Gulf. This research is aimed at understanding the stock and sustainability of the fishery in this area. The primary goal is to improve economic viability in each province, while maintaining a sustainable fishery.
For more information please contact: PEIFA President Craig Avery (902) 388-7988