Media statement: 2J snow crab quotas take devastating hit; NunatuKavut President calls for immediate action by DFO
HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, LABRADOR, March 31, 2021 – The NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) today issued the following statement on snow crab quota decisions recently made by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO):
“This week’s announcement by DFO on snow crab quotas are absolutely devastating for NCC and our 2J fishers, processors and communities in NunatuKavut. While fishers on the island portion of our province are celebrating increases in snow crab quotas, our fishers are taking a 20 per cent cut. This adds to a long history of marginalization and nominal allocations of the fish resources in our own waters. We also fear that pending decisions around the northern cod and the northern shrimp fisheries in the coming weeks will not respond appropriately to this dire situation.
Our people are deeply connected to the land, sea and ice that make up NunatuKavut. Our presence in the fishery is vitally important to the livelihood and sustainability of our people and communities. NCC has been honourable in our dealings with DFO and has been consistent with our fisheries approach and strategy, our values and ways of being. For decades, however, our participation in the fishery has been marginalized and our fishers have been shut out from accessing some quotas at all.
In light of this most recent decision on snow crab, NCC and our fishers are now facing a crisis. We call upon the Minister of DFO to take a fair and principled approach to upcoming allocations that recognizes our adjacency, Indigenous rights, cultural attachment and our great economic need. And, again, we implore the Minister to not approve the re-issuance of the Clearwater Foods licences and quotas, which we understand to be part of the pending purchase of Clearwater (see previous news release).
We are at a very critical point in our fishery. It is now time for DFO to live up to its commitment of Indigenous reconciliation and fair and equitable allocation principles. This will go a long way in helping to build a strong and sustainable fishery in NunatuKavut and expeditiously resolve generations of inequity.”
Director of Communications, NCC