News Release Archive


Nova Scotia Fisheries Minister Jim Barkhouse today announced new
legislation aimed at strengthening fisheries organizations and
setting them on a course to help protect the future of the
fishing industry.

Mr. Barkhouse said the Fisheries Organization Support Act marks
an historic development for the fishery in Nova Scotia. "The
legislation proclaimed today gives our fishing industry the tools
to design an effective system of representation and provide a
stronger voice for fishers," he said.

"This is also an example of government listening to Nova Scotians
and delivering on a promise," he said. "Government is responding
to a clear  message from industry for effective and self-financed

Under-funding and small membership are impeding the ability of
organizations to lobby effectively and protect the fishing
interests of the people they represent, said the minister.
Approximately 30 to 40 per cent of limited entry\bonafide fishers
are paid-up members of the 50 or so organizations in the

"We have a situation where a few are paying for benefits received
by all," he said.

Mr. Barkhouse pointed out that although the concept has been
debated for decades, fishers are realizing the need for strong,
unified voices to help protect their investments and future. 

"Fishing is a billion dollar industry in Nova Scotia. A growing
number of fishers realize that they have a lot at stake,
particularly the small, independent harvester trying to survive
in a highly competitive, globalized, and market-driven industry,"
he said.

Stressing the need for proper representation at levels where
fishery decisions are made, the minister said that federal
Fisheries and Oceans recognizes that there are too many poorly
funded harvester groups and individuals to be heard effectively.

In accordance with the legislation, Nova Scotia core fishers, who
hold licences for limited-entry fisheries such as lobster,
groundfish and scallops, will be able to vote for organized
representation. This would include payment of mandatory dues. The
province will be divided into six fishing regions for the
purposes of vote taking.

The minister applauded industry for its role in the development
of the new act and regulations. "Over the course of the three
years it took to develop this legislation, the department
consulted extensively with industry. It is an example of
government and industry working together for a common goal and
for the future of the fishery," said Mr. Barkhouse.


Contact: Clarrie MacKinnon  902-424-0349

         Diane Kenny        902-424-0308

NOTE TO EDITORS: Backgrounder available by calling (toll free)
1-800-670-4357 or 1-902-424-4492.

trp                     Nov. 19, 1996 - 2:20 p.m.