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Earle McCurdy: shrimp cuts more DFO 'skulduggery'

The head of the province's fisheries union says he's outraged by the latest cuts to the shrimp fishery from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

9,000 tonnes of 10,000 tonne cut will be taken from inshore fishermen

Earle McCurdy, head of the FFAW, says the DFO's new management plan for the northern shrimp fishery will severely impact inshore fishers, but not the offshore trawlers. (CBC)

The head of the province's fisheries union says he's outraged by the latest cuts to the shrimp fishery by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Earle McCurdy, president of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union, said the latest cuts announced by the federal body will hit the inshore fishermen the hardest.

Northern shrimp quotas for this year have been cut by 10,000 tonnes — and McCurdy said 9,000 tonnes of that will be taken from the inshore under 65-foot vessels.

The offshore trawler fleet will only lose 1,000 tonnes.

"This is very, very serious for the future of Newfoundland and Labrador, and this fishery is one on which there's been, I can't describe it as nothing other than skulduggery," McCurdy said.

According to McCurdy, the smaller, inshore shrimp fishermen have been taking the brunt of the cuts to the industry since 2007, while offshore vessels have more to catch.

McCurdy said the management plan announced by DFO last week is unfair to inshore fishermen.

"What about the inshore investment? What are they, chopped liver? Apparently so, judging by this management plan," said McCurdy.

"It penalizes the people most adjacent to the resource, and there's going to be backlash against it."

McCurdy said the union is planning protest action on Wednesday against the latest DFO plans.

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