Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Keith Ashfield issued a statement Friday that puts to rest fears about possible changes to owner-operator and fleet separation policies.

Ashfield said fleet separation and owner operator policies in Atlantic Canada will remain intact. 

Fishermen argue the current policies keep big fishing companies out of the inshore fishery and they want to keep it that way.

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Mike McGeoghegan, president of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association, said a strong lobby by the inshore fishermen has paid off. (CBC)

  

Ashfield said he has been "displeased and angered" by some of the inaccuracies that have surfaced suggesting changes were coming.

Mike McGeoghegan, president of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association, said it's clear a strong lobby by the inshore fishermen has paid off. 

"It's a great, great statement. I'm glad that the minister finally stepped up to the plate and made that decision. I think it comes from a lot of lobbying," said McGeoghegan. 

"The fishermen of Atlantic Canada really lobbied the government hard to keep owner-operator, which needed to be done. It would have been the end of the fishery as we know it right now, once we went corporate." 

McGeoghegan said fishermen and Opposition politicians have been asking questions about this for months and were unable to get a clear response.