Ottawa 'dumping everything': P.E.I. fisheries minister
P.E.I. Fishermen's Association to take charge of tag distribution for traps and nets
Posted: Jan 8, 2013 11:58 AM AT
Last Updated: Jan 8, 2013 1:25 PM AT
The P.E.I. government will be picking up the tab so the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association can take charge of distributing tags for traps and nets, and Fisheries Minister Ron MacKinley is not happy about it.Fisheries Minister Ron MacKinley is relieved that the distribution of tags was not passed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on to a private company. (CBC)
These numbered markers are a way to control illegal fishing. For example, lobster fishermen must tag each trap or face a potential charge for poaching.
Distribution of the tags was previously handled by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The PEIFA is the first group named to take over the job. DFO announced it was getting out of distributing tags earlier this year.
The P.E.I. Fisheries Department is offering the PEIFA $14,000 to hire two workers to run the program.
"That's money they could have spent on marketing," said MacKinley.
"Basically the federal government is dumping everything on the provinces, whether it be this or unemployment or whatever."
While he is not pleased with Ottawa downloading the program, MacKinley did say having the PEIFA administer the tags is making the best out of a bad situation.
"At one time they were talking about a private company doing it," he said.
"If they'd have privatized it, well then that could have drove the cost up to the fishermen quite a bit."
MacKinley is not concerned about the distribution of the tags being controlled by fishermen.
"They're business people and I think they'll run it as fair as they possibly can," he said.
The PEIFA will hand out tags for all fisheries except for tuna. The tagging in that internationally-regulated fishery will continue to be run by DFO.
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