N.L. fishery should be downsized: poll

A poll conducted for CBC News shows the public does not agree with the way the provincial government is handling the fishery.
Poll found public wants fishery downsized, CBC's David Cochrane reports 2:33

A poll conducted for CBC News shows the public doesn’t agree with the way the provincial government is handling the fishery.

On Feb. 25, the provincial fisheries minister rejected a report by the Steering Committee for Fishing Industry Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on fisheries restructuring.

At the time, Provincial Fisheries Minister Clyde Jackman said a smaller fishery isn't necessarily a better fishery but the public has a different view.

The poll conducted  for CBC News by Halifax-based Corporate Research Associates shows there is strong support for fisheries downsizing.

It found 60 per cent of the province believes the fishery should be concentrated in fewer locations to be more efficient.

Only 23 per cent say it is well managed and doesn't need change.

The majority opinion is that a smaller leaner fishery would be more profitable.

N.L. fisheries minister Clyde Jackman speaking with reporters on Feb. 25. ((CBC))
A view Jackman rejected when he was presented with the latest rationalization plan in late February.

"What I see in this report is an ask for money but nothing to follow up as to what is it that we are going to do to change the structure of this fishery," he said on Feb. 25.

Tuesday, Fish, Food and Allied Workers union leader Earle McCurdy said the minister's inaction is a sign that Jackman is misreading the opinions of the fishing industry and the public.

He said the lack of a clear fisheries plan will have a  political cost on election day.

"Oh, I think quite clearly in areas where the fishery is a significant employer and significant part of the population, I think the government members running in those areas are going to come under a lot of pressure on this. This is very much a political issue," he said.

FFAW president Earle McCurdy said the provincial government will pay at the polls for not helping to restructure the fishery. ((CBC) )
McCurdy said that is what makes the government response to the fisheries MOU so baffling.

He believes that four-and-a-half years after the premier's fisheries summit, the public is ready for reform.

McCurdy said the only hold up now is the provincial government.