Foote calling for changes to food fishery

Published on February 9, 2016
Judy Foote

The time has come to fix the disparity in the food fishery, Bonavista-Burin-Trinity MP Judy Foote said.

“I think that there needs to be some balance in terms with what happens in the other Atlantic Provinces versus what happens in Newfoundland and Labrador,” she told The Southern Gazette on Thursday.

Foote said people in the province would like to see some fairness, particularly in the length of the food fishery.

Currently, due to the short duration allowed on the water, if conditions are bad, fisherpersons are left with one of two options, she said. They either miss out or take their chances in the rough weather.

Those involved in the food fishery say if they were able to catch the same amount of fish over a greater period, they would not have to take unnecessary risks, Foote said.

In the past, Foote has been successful in having the dates extended because of conditions where people were unable to fish, but she would like to see something on the books.

“It would be nice that instead of having to ask to have it extended that the number of days that they could fish was actually part of a policy,” she said.

Although no decisions have been made, Foote said talks with Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo have been going well, and he is listening to the concerns she has brought forward on behalf of the people.