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Crab Processing Regulation Provides Economic Benefits to Labrador

19 February 2013

CANADA - A review undertaken by Eric Dunne Consulting Limited on behalf of the Provincial Government has recommended that the crab processing regulation governing snow crab caught in NAFO area 2J in Labrador be maintained. The regulation was established 1993 and provides for fish plants located in that region to maximize the supply of snow crab; to operate efficiently, and to derive maximum economic benefit for residents of Labrador.

“Based on a request from fishing industry participants, our government initiated a review of the current fish processing regulation governing snow crab caught in NAFO area 2J adjacent to Labrador,” said Derrick Dalley, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

“The review was mandated to explore the current regulation and assess the effectiveness and implications on harvesters, processors, plant workers and other stakeholders in the Labrador region of the province. I am pleased today to accept the findings and recommendations of the Report on the Review of the Limitation on 2J Crab. The regulation provides enormous benefits to the people of Labrador. It promotes industry stability and economic viability. Most importantly, it optimizes employment for the region and undoubtedly adds to the overall stability of the province’s fishing industry.”

The Report on the Review of the Limitation on 2J Crab concludes that the 2J crab regulation has a sound basis in law and is well within the province’s constitutional power to maintain. It also concludes the regulation is based on valid, accepted and announced fishery policy objectives. The regulation has provided benefits directly to the communities adjacent to NAFO area 2J that they may not have otherwise received. The report also notes that the current regulation is widely supported by industry participants and community groups. Supporters of the regulation claim that the overall positive effects outweigh the benefits of removing it and the regulation is still needed to continue providing benefits to communities adjacent to 2J.

“The fishery continues to be a beneficial aspect of Labrador’s local economy and regulations that ensure employment benefits in the region are an essential part of our government’s fisheries policy,” said Nick McGrath, Minister of Service NL and Minister Responsible for Labrador Affairs. “While two fish plants recently closed on the south coast of Labrador, there is still much hope and optimism the fishery will remain viable for years to come.”

The recommendations suggested by the consultant and the terms of reference of the report are contained in the Executive Summary, which is available online at Details on the establishment of the 2J crab regulation are contained in the backgrounder below.

“The 2J crab regulation will ensure, in part, that the remaining crab plants in Mary’s Harbour and Cartwright have full access to adequate raw material,” said Minister Dalley.

“The report and related consultations found that the vast majority of harvesters and processors are fully in favour of maintaining this regulation. A very small number of individuals noted their concerns during the consultations. Our government will work with processors and harvesters throughout Newfoundland and Labrador to ensure the fishing industry’s viability and sustainability. We will continue to ensure our residents receive the maximum economic benefit from this valuable resource.”

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