Monday, March 15, 2021

Fish harvesters push back on recent DFO ruling on prawns

Prince Rupert's Prawn fishers are concerned on the impact of
new regulations from DFO on their industry

A recent announcement by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans that changes how fish harvesters can work the prawn fishery is getting some push back from those in the industry, with Fisheries for Communities launching a petition to urge DFO to reconsider its moves.

Last Week DFO revised the regulations on the prawn fishery announcing that the practice o tubbing will be prohibited as the frozen blocks of prawns prevent DFO inspectors ready access to the prawns in the catch.

Tubbing is a method that prawn harvesters have used for over fifty years and  those in the industry are angered by the fact that DFO made the decision without any consultation.

As part of the petition call, Fisheries for Communities note the challenges that the DFO decision will bring to those who fish the resources from area waters.

DFO’s decision, in the middle of the pandemic, is adding more strife to fish harvesters, who are already facing huge market challenges. 

Wholesale prices for prawns have dropped more than 50% since COVID-19 hit in 2020, and many prawn harvesters have tried to recover their losses by selling their catch locally. 

Remote coastal communities are also experiencing barriers to local seafood access, as most of the fish and seafood being caught is shipped and sold internationally. 

This sudden change in regulation puts additional strain on the livelihoods of prawn harvesters, their families, as well as coastal economies and local food security.

More about the Fisheries for Communities petition can be reviewed here

You can sign on to get the attention of DFO and push for a reversal here.

More notes on the Fishery on the North Coast can be explored here.

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