Nfld. & Labrador

MOU meeting resolves nothing

The government and key fisheries players are no closer to finding common ground over a divisive report about making the fishery leaner.
FFAW president Earle McCurdy said tough decisions need to be made on downsizing the fishery. (CBC)

The Newfoundland and Labrador government and the province's key fisheries players are no closer to finding common ground over a divisive report about making the fishery leaner and more efficient.

The government released what is often called the MOU report — following a memorandum of understanding struck in 2009 — last month, but rejected it as unacceptable.

Fisheries Minister Clyde Jackman participated in a two-hour meeting in St. John's Tuesday afternoon, but the stalemate continued after it ended.  

Jackman is sticking to his demand that before anything else happens, the industry must come up with a concrete restructuring plan for the fishery.

But Fish, Food and Allied Workers union president Earle McCurdy — as well as the Association of Seafood Producers — want government to proceed immediately with the expensive and politically explosive process of downsizing the fishery.

"The idea that we just let it drop because it's politically unpalatable - that's politically unpalatable," McCurdy said after the meeting.

Jackman, who has been accused of deferring tough decisions on the fishery because of the looming general election in October, has agreed to put his position in writing.