Controlling Agreements – To fish or control?

On Nov. 14, Nova Scotia fisherman Graeme Gawn told a Parliamentary committee that “thousands of inshore” fishermen have been “disenfranchised from their traditional fisheries.” Mr. Gawn was referring to the fact that many fishermen have yielded control of their licences to corporations. The consolidation of inshore licences is supposedly illegal. Under Canada’s Policy for Preserving the Independence of the Inshore Fleet in Canada’s Atlantic Fisheries, the holders of individual (owner-operator) fishing licences are supposed to harvest and sell their own catch. As former Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea stated, the policy is designed to “ensure that inshore fish harvesters remain independent, and that the benefits of fishing licences flow to Atlantic coastal communities.” It doesn’t always work out that way. Read the op-ed here 09:51