Grand Falls–Windsor, NL — Clifford Small, Conservative Shadow Minister for Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard, released the following statement after the Liberal Government’s announcement of the Northern Cod Quota for 2024-2025 and changing the cod fishery from Stewardship to Commercial status:

“After nine years of Trudeau and six fisheries Ministers, Liberals have made a mess of our fishery and made clear they don’t care about our fishers or those who make a livelihood in our blue economy. 

“This Liberal announcement today leaves out too many fish harvesters and is a slap in the face to those harvesters and coastal communities who are receiving no help to sustain their livelihoods and their way of life.

“It is clear that the Trudeau government has ignored our fishers and are not listening to their concerns. The Fish, Food, and Allied Workers Union criticized today’s announcement, saying, ‘Today is not historic because the cod fishery is re-entering commercial status. Today is historic because the current federal Liberal government have completely and utterly failed our province and the recovery of the great Northern cod stock.’

“The increase from 13,000 MT under stewardship status to 18,000 MT under commercial status does not mark the re-opening of a sensible commercial fishery and can not be called the end of the Northern Cod Moratorium. Especially since the Liberal government continue to cut many of our fishers out from having fair access.

“The announcement also conveniently failed to mention that by changing the status of the fishery from Stewardship to Commercial, foreign countries automatically get a five percent allocation. While our own fishers are being cut out, nearly 1000 MT will now go to foreign vessels that would not have had access under a Stewardship classification.

“Once again, Trudeau’s government are unfairly applying their policies and dividing Canadians. Canadian fish stocks should be for Canadian fishers first and it is clear with this decision that the Liberal government does not have the livelihoods of our fishers and processors in mind.

“Our fishers need their voices to be heard so that those that are adjacent and reliant on this stock can reap the benefits of their thirty-two years of conservation efforts. Only Common Sense Conservatives are listening to our blue economy workers and fighting for fairness for our fishers.”