Saturday, July 04, 2009

More Federal bailouts of fishermen

More commercial fishing industry subsidies.....(click below for details). Although this doesnt pertain to west coast salmon fishermen the topic is of interest. Why is it that the fishing industry is one of the most bailed out and heavily subsidized industries in Canada?? It seems crisis after crisis, some of their own making from overfishing etc, always end up in either bailouts, buyouts, or subsidies like described below? Check out the wording of the Press release, DFO is actually giving these fishermen money to"...adapt to the global economic situation...." and "....ensure a sustainable, self-reliant lobster sector..."
This seems like a bit of an oxymoron doesnt it? How can the industry be sustainable if it requires bailing out by the taxpayer? How can it be self-reliant when it requires periodic bailing out by the taxpayer? Somehow in Canada being a fisherman is completely different than being a normal business person. Normal business people are allowed to fail and declare bankruptcy all the time with no Federal assistance. However, commercial fishermen are treated completely differently as if they have a special status. We suggest letting the market dictate who survives this downturn and the industry and fishery would probably be better off for it. Just like with the Atlantic Cod, DFO wants to blend social engineering with fishery management.....Didnt work for the cod or the cod fishery. Note for the $60 million spent on this bailing out this fishery, DFO could have bought out all the gillnets licensees on the north coast and 'invested' in researching truly sustainable catch methods. This type of investment would have much longer lasting benefits to fish and industry than short term band aids in economic downturns.
Harper Government Delivers Support to Fishers and Families in the Atlantic Lobster Industry
June 10, 2009

OTTAWA – Fishers and their families who have been hit by the global collapse in lobster prices will receive targeted short term support to make ends meet while working on ensuring a sustainable and viable lobster industry in the future. Today, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Gail Shea announced that the Harper Government will make a $65 million investment to help fishers in the Atlantic lobster industry adapt to the extraordinary market conditions created by the global recession.

“Our government stands on the side of affected fishers and families whose livelihoods depend on the lobster industry,” said Minister Shea. “The circumstances affecting the lobster industry are unique and lobster fishers had nothing to do with the collapse in lobster prices. All they want is the chance to continue making an honest living doing the job they love. These short term measures will allow us to work with the industry to ensure a sustainable, self-reliant and flexible lobster sector for years to come.”

Communities in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland & Labrador and Quebec will benefit from today’s announcement.

$15 million will be provided for Short-Term Transitional Contributions that will assist qualified low-income harvesters severely harmed by the collapse in market demand for their products due to the global recession. Available only during this particularly difficult year, eligible lobster-dependent fishers will be compensated for a portion of their lost income caused by reduced landings.

The announcement by the Minister also invests $50 million in Atlantic Lobster Sustainability Measures to support those in the industry who develop and implement long-term sustainability plans. This includes a $15 million allocation specifically for those who work in low-income areas and have experienced significant losses due to chronically low lobster landings.

This program will allow the industry to modernize and emerge from the current economic crisis on a sound footing for future generations,” said Minister Shea. “Most of these measures were recommended during consultations with the lobster industry and provincial governments, and I look forward to building on this engagement and working with all of our partners to secure a stronger future for the Atlantic lobster fishery.”

No comments: