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Fishery Coalition leadership denounces violent actions

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Calls on Government of Canada to appoint an independent mediator to begin talks between DFO, Indigenous Leaders and Fishing Organizations on the long-term management of the fishery

SHEDIAC, NB, Oct. 16, 2020 /CNW/ - The leadership of the Coalition of Atlantic and Québec Fishing Organizations called on the Government of Canada to help de-escalate tension in Canada's fishery and rebuild what was historically a peaceful, collaborative relationship between Indigenous Peoples and fishermen.

"Our leadership is opposed to any violent action on the land or water and is asking, once again, for the Government of Canada to intervene to begin direct talks between the Department of Fisheries, Indigenous Leaders and Fishing Organizations on the long term management of the fishery," said Martin Mallet, Executive Director of the Maritime Fishermen's Union.

The Coalition leadership believes that peaceful, open, and direct discussions are the best path forward to a healthy, sustainable fishery. Harvester organizations have been seeking three-way discussion for many months with no action by DFO.

"Historically, the relationships between Indigenous Peoples and fishermen in Atlantic Canada and Quebec have been about friendship, respect and collaboration between communities," said Bernie Berry, President of the Coldwater Lobster Association. "The current difficult situation is a symptom of a flawed process followed by the government and its constant exclusion of the commercial fishermen in the discussions on fisheries management. The government approach is dividing coastal communities that all depend on the fisheries for their living."

There can be no real solution to the long-term management of the fisheries which ignores the views of commercial fishermen. The Coalition believes in the principles of conservation, dialogue and that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is and should always be primarily responsible for the setting and enforcement of rules that apply to both non-Indigenous and Indigenous fishermen.

COALITION OF ATLANTIC AND QUÉBEC FISHING ORGANIZATIONS

Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen's Association (BoFIFA)
Brazil Rock 33/34 Lobster Association
Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association (CBFHA)
Coldwater Lobster Association (CLA)
Eastern Shore Fishermen's Protective Association (ESPFA)
Fundy North Fishermen's Association (FNFA)
Gulf Nova Scotia Bonafide Fishermen's Association (GNSBFA)
Gulf Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board (GNSFPB)
Guysborough County Inshore Fishermen's Association (GCIFA)
Maritime Fishermen's Union (MFU)
PEI Fishermen's Association (PEIFA)
Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du sud de la Gaspésie
Richmond County Inshore Fishermen's Association (RCIFA)
Scotia Fundy Inshore Fishermen's Association (SFIFA)

SOURCE Coalition of Atlantic and Quebec Fishing Organizations

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