Group calling on DFO to extend recreational food fishery
One group, frustrated by crummy weather conditions on the island's east coast, wants the federal government to permanently extend the province's food fishery.
Barry Fordham, with the Newfoundland Federation of Hunters and Anglers, says this year's fishery has been fantastic in terms of the size of the cod being caught.
"They're as big as dogs, as we used to say," said Fordham.
"There seems to be no shortage of fish all around. I'm on Facebook and see all these people with 20, 30, 40, 50-pounders. Seems to be lots of them," he said.
The problem, Fordham said, is that the weather and, more specifically, the wind has greatly impacted the season.
Combine the two seasons to lengthen them, that would be granting an extra five weeks to the season.- Barry Fordham, Newfoundland Federation of Hunters and Anglers
"Which is what we've been talking [about] with Minister Gail Shea, pleading with her, pleading with her to lengthen the season so that we can take this into account. Thankfully nobody has has gotten hurt this year," Fordham said.
With only a few days left to catch recreational cod, Fordham worries people will rush to make up for lost time.
"Out of the 14 possible days so far, we've only been able to utilize maybe four days of that season so far," he said. "So we've lost two-thirds of the season."
Fordham and his group is lobbying the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to combine the summer and fall fishing seasons.
"Once the season opens in July, leave it open right to the end of September. Combine the two seasons to lengthen them, that would be granting an extra five weeks to the season."
DFO has not yet commented on the the group's proposal. Last year, the recreational food fishery was extended by three days.
With files from Jeremy Eaton