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


ccaetano / Depositphotos.com

MFU encourages dialogue between DFO officials and inshore fishermen

By Tara Clow May 24, 2024 | 2:01 PM

The Maritime Fishermen’s Union is expressing the need for change after the recent crisis affecting lobster fishermen in northern New Brunswick.

Protests erupted last week after an entangled North Atlantic right whale was spotted off the coast of Lameque Island.  The Department of Fisheries and Oceans closed the fishery for 15 days.

The dispute was quickly settled on Thursday night.

“The community movement that quickly rallied around us, showing its value and importance, is proof of what we can do together,” MFU President Réjean Comeau stated.

But the union feels this demonstrates the urgent need to establish a genuine dialogue between senior DFO-Ottawa officials and inshore fishermen. “We’re delighted that the Minister has finally understood our message. However, what has happened over the past week is a clear demonstration that DFO-Ottawa is not in touch with the reality of the industry. There must be changes, and our members and communities can count on the MFU to keep up the pressure to bring back respect for fishermen in how DFO operates.”

In a statement, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Diane Lebouthilier acknowledged how difficult the past week has been on harvesters,” You are critical partners in our efforts to protect this important species while carrying the enormous burden of balancing that responsibility and still maintaining your livelihood. I am committed to continuing to work together on the best way to achieve that.”

She also stated that DFO has been asked to convene a meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee on North Atlantic Right Whales.

“It is crucial that we achieve the right balance in protecting these whales while minimizing the impact on the fishing industry wherever possible.”