For immediate release

(Tantallon, NS) – On behalf of the Canadian Committee for a Sustainable Eel Fishery (CCSEF), President Genna Carey issued the following statement today:

On behalf of legal elver fishers I want to thank MPs Rick Perkins and Clifford Small for continuing to defend the 1100 Maritimers who have not been allowed by the Minister of Fisheries to earn their livelihoods this year.

Yesterday’s debate at the House of Commons Fisheries Committee raised key issues we have been trying to put before Minister Lebouthillier and her deputy minister for weeks – indeed months.

CCSEF’s interaction with DFO has been incredibly frustrating.

Minister Lebouthillier has simply refused to meet with any commercial elver fisher since being appointed to the portfolio and thus has an incomplete understanding of the issues facing the elver fishery. This despite the fact that the minister and her parliamentary secretary have met with Indigenous fishers.

Elver fishers – commercial and Indigenous – agree that there is still time to have a legal fishing season in 2024. Waters are still high, the elver run is just starting. Plus, DFO has been conducting enforcement activities – as they have made very public. Clearly, new regulations were not needed to enforce the fishery. Moreover, having legal fishers on the rivers – the stewards of the elver fishery for 30 plus years – would ensure for more sets of vigilant eyes to support enforcement.

CCSEF is keen to meet with Minister Lebouthillier to discuss how to open the elver fishery in 2024. Without meeting industry, the minister and her officials do not have a complete perspective for proper decision making.

Commercial elver fishers are hopeful yesterday’s debate at the House of Commons Fisheries Committee will lead to meaningful discussion and the opening of the elver fishery in 2024.

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For more information, please contact:
Stanley King, (438) 880-8654