Fisheries tycoon and PC leadership candidate Bill Barry says the federal government decisions on shrimp allocations are terrible.
Fishermen have been lobbying for changes to the cuts in allowable catch, but primarily the way the cuts have been divided between offshore and inshore fishermen.
The last in, first out (LIFO) policy has inshore fishermen suffering the brunt of the cuts — a devastating impact on a large number of fishermen and their families in rural communities throughout the province.
Barry said there is no arguing that shellfish stocks are declining, but that it is just not fair to allocate the catch the way the federal government has. That is especially true, he said, given the world market prices offshore fishermen can avail of.
“(Offshore fishermen) will probably have one of the best years they have ever had, financially, while the inshore fishermen and the inshore fishery — with over 300 boats, with over 1,600 fishermen, with 1,200 or 1,400 plan workers — are taking the brunt of the cut,” he said.
Barry said there has to be equity in sharing the pain of declining stocks.
“In my opinion, a terrible decision by the federal government,” he said. “It shouldn’t have been done.”