News Release Archive

Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Jim Barkhouse said today he
supports the findings of the Fisheries Resource Conservation
Council (FRCC) and urges the federal Fisheries Minister David
Anderson to accept recommendations put forward in the council's
recent report, A Groundfish Conservation Framework for Atlantic

"The FRCC has prescribed a course of action which we cannot
afford to ignore or postpone," said Mr. Barkhouse. "This may well
be our last opportunity to rebuild Atlantic groundfish stocks and
sustain many of our rural coastal communities. We must put aside
the notion that we have been victims of an unexpected crisis
which will be rectified simply with the passage of time.

"The crisis is largely of our own making and we have two choices:
work together to develop fishing plans and practices which ensure
that resource conservation is never compromised, or maintain the
status quo. The second option will simply accelerate the
countdown to the day when no one has to announce a fishery
closure because there are simply no fish left to catch. Over the
years we have become experts at pointing fingers of blame at
government, fishery managers and at different fleet and gear
sectors. But looking for culprits instead of solutions has not
served industry or communities well."

Mr. Barkhouse noted that recent meetings to discuss methods to
deal with abuses such as discarding, high-grading and
misreporting signify there is still much work to be done to
encourage acceptance of a "conservation first" ethic among all

"However, it is also important to acknowledge that within the
industry there are a number of responsible individuals and
organizations who are making progressive changes to protect the
resource and pursue a course toward optimum benefits, as
advocated by the FRCC," said the minister.

"In Nova Scotia, over-capacity is another high priority issue. I
have already asked the federal minister to consider avenues for
implementing a groundfish licence retirement and buyout program.
This would help alleviate some of the pressure on the resource
and address the human and social issues associated with leaving
the fishery."


Contact: Clarrie MacKinnon
         Fisheries and Aquaculture

trp                      Aug. 1, 1997 - 3:20 p.m.