Quota talk for lobster industry concerns group

Greg Bennett
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James Mood, the president of the 1688 Professional Lobster Fishermen’s Association shared his concerns about proposing a quota system for the lobster fishery last week.

By Greg Bennett

The Coast Guard

An area fisheries group is sounding alarm bells over talk from a former federal fisheries minister about the lobster industry considering boat quotas.

Gail Shea, a former minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, recently suggested that now might be the time for the East Coast lobster industry in Atlantic Canada and the United States to start looking at quotas.

Some in the industry agree.

Others do not.

James Mood, the president of the 1688 Professional Lobster Fishermen’s Association, told a group of about 40 members at a meeting in Barrington last week that introducing a quota system to the inshore lobster fishery would be a death knell for many communities.

“Along with your future and your licences goes your community,” said Mood. “This will be the land of no land …there will be one boat tied to the Woods Harbour wharf …my aluminum boat …a 14 footer.”

Mood said talk of introducing quotas within inshore lobster fisheries in nothing new. The fact the discussion has been restarted by a recent fisheries minister is concerning though, he said.

“You know what the government is like,” he said. “They are controlled by big business  …but the government will do whatever it wants to do unless you stop them.”

Shea, who is the current minister of national revenue, insists such a discussion would have to be industry-driven.

Mood believes the topic may eventually come to fishermen for a vote and he cautioned those gathered at last week’s meeting that a quota system would leave the industry in the hands of a much smaller group.

“Eventually, if the corporate world is involved, you fellas are going to be wiped out,” he said. “The government is fond of destroying things  …they don’t care about you …they’re in there for their own selfish gains.”

“If you want your communities to survive you have to fight the government,” he said.

Organizations: Coast Guard, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Geographic location: East Coast, Atlantic Canada, United States Professional Lobster Fishermen Barrington Woods Harbour

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Recent comments

  • Scott McIntosh
    January 25, 2013 - 07:15

    Lobstermen had better get their message to the government to be one voice united togther under James Mood if they do not want quotas then big corperations take over like on the west coast salmon industry . If the fight between other lobsterman continues government regulations could hurt the industry . Items like safety dry suits pot limits quotas fule prices and elections of judges by Canadian voters rather than apointed judges for fishing laws that now have 0 input by fisherman being judged by lawyers ??? The Industry must unite and get behind James Mood to stand up for lobstermen ! Perhaps start with a bill of rights Charter Electing judges from a greater pool of persons that are not lawyers notorous for fighting for any side that pays them and be judged by fishermen or a jurry of fishermen would make a reality of fairness that is sorely lacking when you have such poor judges there like King James Burrill if you ask my opinion . Electing all judges in Canada will stop Canada from being divided by apointed judges ! Could any of our local judges ever get elected as a dog catcher ? Not if you ask me ! There is no King in Canada Why not have Elected ones to be fair ? Justice reform is needed now ! Regulation should be voted upon in the industry ! Have the lobster Industry sing in harmoney as one Chior lead by James Mood President . Good luck from across the Harbor !