FISH-NL – Harp seals and outside buyers not on list of fishery issues NDP prepared to ‘champion’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

While the province’s New Democratic Party supports the principle of adjacency, moving away from “environmentally destructive” sea-cage aquaculture, and is “deeply concerned” about the impact of offshore seismic activity, Leader Alison Coffin doesn’t address other inshore fishery issues including harp seals and outside buyers.

“The NDP is the first to respond to FISH-NL’s survey of provincial parties on the subject of the inshore fishery,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “But not all questions were responded to, which probably says as much as a direct answer.”

On May 3rd, FISH-NL sent eight questions to the leaders of each of the four political parties running in the May 16th provincial election:

Does your party support opening the market to outside fish buyers?
Does your party support this province becoming the principle beneficiary of adjacent fish stocks?
Does your party support the inclusion of the adjacency principle in the federal Fisheries Act?
Does your party support lifting the moratorium on fish processing licences?
What is your party’s plan to address the massive harp seal population?
Does your party support on-land or at-sea aquaculture?
What is your party’s stand on offshore seismic activity?
What is your party’s stand on raw material sharing?

The NDP did not respond to the specific questions, but send an overall response letter (attached).

“We support the principle of adjacency, including adding it to legislation; the need to move away from environmentally destructive sea-cage aquaculture into the more sustainable land-based aquaculture, as the majority of other jurisdictions are doing,” Coffin wrote.

“We are deeply concerned about the oil and gas industry’s use of seismic testing and its impact on our marine ecosystem in the search for more reservoirs. These are issues the NDP will champion in the future.”

FISH-NL requested responses from each the political camps by Monday, May 13th, and will make them public as they come in.

Contact: Ryan Cleary 682 4862