St. John’s, Nfld. – The Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) has received the thumbs up for its sustainability and conservation plan for lobster harvesters.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Fisheries and Aquaculture, Newfoundland and Labrador approved the FFAW’s plan under the Atlantic Lobster Sustainability Measures Program.
The program will see the federal government and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador each contribute more than $9 million.
The program encourages the long-term sustainability and economic prosperity for the lobster fishery in Atlantic Canada by supporting conservation practices that maintain and enhance lobster stocks, improve catch monitoring and fishing effort reporting.
Darin King, the minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Newfoundland and Labrador, says the arrangement with the federal government will enhance conservation measures. It will also “improve the viability of lobster fishing enterprises in economically challenged areas of the province that are highly reliant on this resource,” says King.
The plan includes three elements:
• a science and conservation plan to be implemented in all Newfoundland and Labrador Lobster Fishing Areas and in southwest and western Newfoundland;
• trap reductions; and
• a lobster enterprise retirement program.
What the program means
Conservation and stewardship efforts such as these can improve lobster population productivity and ensure adequate fishery, biological and ecosystem impact information is gathered to support fisheries management and science processes.
As well the lobster harvesters in western and southwestern Newfoundland will reduce the total number of lobster traps by 47,200 or 16 per cent of the total traps fished. The value of this lobster trap reduction is $11.4 million.
Lobster trap reductions and retirements reduce fishing effort and can increase the average income of remaining participants.