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Tags is IT! - Food Fishery Gets a New Look
July 6, 2001
{Author: eBerg Staff}

The food fishery has a new look for the 2001 season.

  A new system of 30 tags, available for $10, will serve food fishermen during a two-month season from July 18 to September 19 - a departure from the standard two-weekend system of past years. A daily catch limit of 10 fish remains intact.

  In essence, fishermen will only be able to catch half the cod as previous years, although the new system is expected to help pay for additional enforcement and enhance safety. Many of us who participated in past food fisheries will attest to seeing foolhardy food "fishermen" at sea in what amounted to a reupholstered bath tub, come gale or rough water. The quota was set to reflect the fragility of cod stocks, officials explained.

  Many commercial fishermen have made their opposition to the food fishery very clear. Fisheries, Food and Allied Workers president Earle McCurdy chastised the set-up as "excessive" and conducive to black market sales and overfishing.

  Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Gerry Reid sees it differently.

  "The food fishery is representative of our right as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to fish those resources which are in our waters," said Minister Reid in a prepared statement. "While we recognize our right to a food fishery, we must also acknowledge that we have an obligation to be responsible in our actions, as we fish this precious resource. I would implore all of those who participate in the food fishery this season, to remember that we are still trying to rebuild our cod stocks and only through responsible fishing and conservation practices, can this goal be achieved."

  According to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, between 25,000-40,000 Newfoundlanders took part in the food fishery on the two weekends last summer.

  Share your thoughts on the food fishery in our Food Fishery Forum.