Proposed Cape Breton Trough Marine Protected Area – Fishermen left in the dark

Cape Breton fishermen are concerned that a proposed Marine Protected Area (MPA) off the western coast of the island could result in the closure of the local snow crab fishery. Bill MacDonald, a fisherman for three decades in the region and member of the Area 19 Snow Crab Fisherman’s Association, told the Chronicle Herald the association became aware the government was considering creating an MPA in the fishing region during a meeting with DFO officials last month, but said there’s been no additional information provided since. Because of fishing regulations in other MPAs, MacDonald said he has concerns the $70 million lobster and snow crab fishery that has supported the small coastal region for many generations could be at risk. MPAs are federally designated areas where human activity is limited in order to protect sensitive ecosystems and at-risk species. MacDonald said the association has been left in the dark, not only about the implications for the crab and lobster fishery in the area, but also about why the area is being considered at all. Read the story here 10:10