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NCC Rejects Last-In First-Out Policy on Northern Shrimp

by pmnationtalk on June 17, 2016401 Views

HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, LABRADOR, June 17, 2016 – NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) President Todd Russell issued the following statement about the Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s (DFO) Last-In First-Out (LIFO) policy for the northern shrimp fishery:

“NCC has asserted unequivocally that LIFO is a policy that maintains the status quo whereby Indigenous peoples in Labrador are marginalized and discriminated against in the commercial fishery. Allocation policy on northern shrimp has utterly failed NCC and the southern Inuit of NunatuKavut.

“The people of NunatuKavut have relied upon the fishery for as long as we have existed. Our territory is the most adjacent and our people are the most dependent upon the commercial fishery that occurs off southern/central Labrador. Yet we have the lowest allocations of any adjacent Indigenous group.

“In a written submission to DFO’s Ministerial Advisory Panel, which has been tasked with carrying out an external review of LIFO, we outlined our concerns and offered recommendations for more meaningful and equitable participation in the fishery. I also reiterated these during a presentation to the panel in Halifax on June 10th.

“We see LIFO as an ad hoc policy that strays from established, long-standing access and allocation criteria and principles that should be used in modern-day fisheries management. We suggested to the panel that criteria for access and allocation should first be based on adjacency and Indigenous rights. We must have a policy that makes sense and complies with the law. The northern Shrimp Fishing Areas (SFAs) 5&6, which has the greatest catch and biomass of all other areas combined, clearly abuts or overlays our Land Claim area and southern Inuit traditional marine use but we currently have less than one per cent of the overall allocation. Our people should, at the very least, have fair access to a fishery that is taking place right off of our own shores.

“We also suggested that DFO look at criteria like assurance of an Aboriginal minimum threshold quota level, historical attachment and economic viability/need, providing there is an agreement on which socio-economic indicators are used. All of these are not new and, in fact, are part of DFO’s own policy principles. They really need to be applied properly and consistently and grounded in a sound management regime.

“Our presence in the northern shrimp fishery is extremely important to the livelihood of our people and communities. NCC is seeking full and fair access to its own resources.”

A copy of NCC’s written submission is available at http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/peches-fisheries/comm/shrimp-crevette/view-vue-eng.htm. NDC Fisheries, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NCC’s business development arm Nunacor, also presented to the panel on May 31 to outline its position on the rejection of LIFO.

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For regular updates, please visit our website at www.nunatukavut.ca. Please also join in the conversation at facebook.com/nunatuKavut and Twitter @nunatuKavut.

Media Contact:

Kelly Broomfield
Director of Communications, NCC 709-280-5965

NT5

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