Nfld. & Labrador

Weekend food fishery not music to everyone's ears, says Shanneyganock's Chris Andrews

Weekends on the water may be good for a lot of people, but musician Chris Andrews says limiting the food fishery that way is difficult for a number of others like him.

DFO has released dates for recreational fishery, all weekends again this year

Chris Andrews says he loves to get out in the recreational food fishery, but being limited to weekends makes that rough for people like him. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans sure can't please everyone when it comes to the food fishery. 

It has released the summer and fall season dates, and just like last year, it's all weekends Saturday to Monday starting June 29 and ending September 2, with nine days in the fall, Sept. 21 to Sept. 29. 

"It sort of puts you in a real predicament to try to get out to get your fish," says Shanneyganock musician Chris Andrews.

"You only have those couple of days and that's it."  

He travels a lot on weekends, and says for people like him with odd schedules or those who do shift work, the limited schedule is rough. 

"It's going to mean not much fishing," for him, Andrews told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show on Thursday, adding it's something he and his bandmates "really love to do."

Some proud! Dominic Foley caught this large codfish near Fogo Island on Thursday, July 27, 2017. (Submitted by Dominic Foley)

DFO said the recreational groundfish fishery will be open 39 days, with no licenses or tags. There's a limit of five fish per person per day (including cod) up to a maximum of 15 fish in a boat with three or more people. 

Fresh is best

"It's too bad that there's not a way that they can make it more accessible for people, and even safer, because a lot of times with these weekend fisheries people go out in weather they wouldn't normally go out in," said Andrews. 

He noted last year he saw people going out in bad weather to get their cod, on days he wouldn't.

Plus, Andrews said it would be better for tourists to have more days to go out given how unpredictable the weather is. 

But Barry Fordham, the president of the Newfoundland Association of Hunters and Anglers, has said he's pleased with the weekend system. 

"It creates more opportunity for everybody," and makes the food fishery safer and fairer, Fordham told CBC News in 2018.

Andrews thinks it would be better if there was a tag system, in which people are allowed to catch a limited number of fish over the course of the season. 

So on a good day they can "go out and do it, enjoy it, and be safe."

"Fish tastes great, but it tastes better when you catch it yourself!" Andrews said.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


With files from The St. John's Morning Show


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