Excerpts from speech to Canadian Federation of Independent Fish Harvesters July 15th, 2017
My father delivered a speech in 1974 when he became Minister of State for Fisheries, in which he described how rare it was to see the fishery from the view of the fisherman.
Working fishermen in all fisheries face grave difficulties.
With this review of the environmental protection provisions of the Fisheries Act, I also have the opportunity to make amendments to the Act that will strengthen fish management policies,and I intend to use this opportunity to enshrine owner-operator and fleet separation in law.
This will mean a legislative framework that affirms the ability of the Fisheries Minister to consider social and economic objectives in administering the Fisheries Act. Practically, along with other measures I am considering, this would mean that the Minister would be able to create regulations under law, to prohibit a fisherman from using a license to enter a controlling agreement or other arrangements that are contrary to social and economic objectives or are beyond the spirit and intent of the owner operator and fleet separation policies. No longer will these be only policies that some future government could ignore, they will have the force of law.
TRANSFORM OUR FISHERIES
quotes his father,
“How many of us would go to work in the morning without any idea of our pay? How many of us would put ourselves in the actual place of the fisherman, exchange our way of life for his? To the tourist, the fisherman seems free. And there may be freedom in his life, but on a rough ocean at four a.m., in the fog, with no sure knowledge of where the fish are or how to find them, there may also be desperation. The fisherman never knows what his catch will be. Or how good his family’s Christmas will be.”
Fisheries Act Consultations
The Parliamentary Committee on Fisheries and Oceans will be holding Hearings in the fall of 2018 on
DFO licencing policies in BC .
Have your say !
Keep in touch and we will let you know where and when the Hearings are located.
This passage comes back to me when I think about why we do what we do at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. This is why we need to work make sure that our policies have teeth—because although much has changed in the four decades since my father spoke those words, the fisherman’s reality has not.
I am committed to making sure that the fruits of this labour remain where they should: with individual fish harvesters like you. With those who say goodbye to their families before dawn and spend their days at sea. With our coastal communities, home to those fishermen who make their living in difficult conditions and provide jobs and economic opportunity for their towns, villages, and neighbourhoods.