Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


Liberals call for increased enforcement on illegal fishing

By Evan Taylor Mar 5, 2024 | 2:59 PM

Despite the government of Nova Scotia increasing fines for illegal fishing tenfold the provincial Liberals say it will do little without increased enforcement.

The decision to escalate fines to $1 million comes in response to mounting illegal fishing activities, particularly noticeable in Southwest Nova Scotia. However, the impact of the previous $100,000 fine was minimal, as it had never been imposed. This lack of enforcement has emboldened illegal fishing markets, posing a significant challenge to the region.

With just two enforcement officers covering the area, the task of curbing illegal fishing appears daunting. Opposition Leader Zach Churchill stressed that while increasing fines is a step in the right direction, it alone won’t suffice. He emphasized the urgent need for enhanced cooperation between the province and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to bolster enforcement efforts.

“The Houston government must prioritize on-land enforcement to ensure the safety of our communities and safeguard our vital fishing industry,” Churchill asserted.

Responsibility for cracking down on illegal seafood sales falls on the provincial Department of Natural Resources. However, a recent budget cut to the department raises concerns about the availability of resources for recruiting additional enforcement officers. It’s feared that the funding shortfall may delay reinforcements for at least another year.

Ronnie LeBlanc, the Fisheries and Aquaculture critic, criticized the government’s apparent neglect of rural economies, as evidenced by the budget cuts. He warned that until meaningful action is taken to address the illicit fishing trade, the livelihoods of local fishers remain under threat.