A “Gathering of Peace”
As the lyrics of gospel hymn “Make me a channel of your peace” echoed around the Gander Town Hall, candles of solidarity flickered in the night.
Will bring concerns of constituents directly to fisheries minister
Approximately 40 people from throughout the Central region gathered in Grand Falls-Windsor on Jan. 26 to talk about the recreational cod fishery.
While the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) had held a session in Gander late in 2016, to talk about implementing a tag system during this year’s recreational fishery, Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame MP Scott Simms felt broader representation from his riding was warranted.
“There was a large portion of the area that didn’t get the benefit of voicing their opinion,” said Simms.
So Simms decided to hold his own session.
During that event, Simms said most people weren’t in favour of the proposed tag system.
“They liked how it was run last year (without tags), some wanted to see it opened full time,” he said. “But for the most part people didn’t like the tags idea.”
The area M.P. does see good in a tag system.
“The thing I do like about the tag system is that it gives fishers flexibility for the whole season, but when you dig deeper into it, it can be cumbersome and expensive,” he said. “From a conservation side we need a better count of the fish that’s coming out of the water, because cod is still in a critical stage, despite the fact that we know there is more cod than there used to be since the collapse of the fishery.”
But from what he’s heard from those who attended the meeting and the DFO session last year, he isn’t recommending the tag system be implemented.
He says he’ll be taking the people’s concerns directly to the minister responsible for DFO.
In addition, Simms’ office will be accepting constitents’ written opinions on the matter until the second week of February.