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Success for Canadian Lobster Sustainability Programme

21 February 2014

CANADA - The lobster sustainability programme, first announced in November 2011, will conclude on March 31, 2014. The programme has been a success and has sustained a more economically viable fishery for the future.

“This programme is a success because of the tremendous collaboration and effort that went into reducing capacity and making the lobster fishery more viable and prosperous for fishermen. Our government is pleased to invest in the fishery, and I am proud of what we have accomplished with our provincial and fishing industry partners,” said Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

The programme, designed to encourage the future long-term sustainability and economic prosperity of the lobster fishery, achieved its objective to increase incomes by significantly reducing lobster fishing capacity in Fortune Bay, the southwest coast and the west coast (lobster fishing areas 11 to 14B) through voluntary lobster trap reductions and lobster licence retirements. The programme has permanently removed 105,000 lobster traps from the fishery (36 per cent reduction) as well as 266 lobster licences (24 per cent reduction).

“The Provincial Government was pleased to collaborate with the Federal Government and FFAW on this important initiative to achieve better outcomes for participants in the provincial lobster industry. This unique arrangement has improved the viability of lobster fishing enterprises for those who wish to be long-term participants, which in turn benefits rural areas of the province that are reliant on this resource,” said Keith Hutchings, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada Minister Gail Shea, Newfoundland and Labrador Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Hutchings, and Fish Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) President Earle McCurdy today said that they are very pleased with the results of program and the direct benefits for lobster harvesters who remain in the fishery.

“Net incomes of those who remain in the fishery in the areas covered by the licence retirement program will be significantly improved as a direct result of the programme. There is now a better balance between the number of participants in the fishery and the available resource, and this has been achieved without the accumulation of debt that would threaten the financial stability of fishing enterprises. We appreciate the financial support provided by both federal and provincial governments in achieving a very successful outcome for the fish harvesters in the affected areas,” Earle McCurdy, President of FFAW-Unifor stated.

Through sound fiscal management and responsible decisions, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is strengthening the business environment, encouraging the development of innovative industries, and building a vibrant economy.

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