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Letter: First salmon, now cod?

While the commercial cod fishery remains open till December, the coming cold weather and increasingly small fish catches has many Northern Peninsula harvesters saying the season has slowed down for the year and many will soon give it up. File photo
File photo - SaltWire Network

It seems that Paul Smith, in his recent column in The Telegram (Fish processors want you to stop killing cod) holds a very huge bias and a very short memory when it comes to the commercial fishery in Newfoundland Labrador.

The accusation he made against the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) showed his extreme bias against the commercial fishery. His example comparing what the ASP wants with starting a commercial rabbit processing company and taking complete corporate control the provinces rabbit resource shows just how biased even his memory is.

First of all, I am in no way associated with ASP or any of its members. However, my ancestors were all commercial inshore fish harvesters and, whenever I feel that culture and history is attacked, I try to put forward a defence.

Just turn the clock back three to four decades and I am sure you will recall what happened to the commercial salmon fishery. 

Smith described a “what if” scenario with rabbits when he could have used an example of what already happened with this province’s salmon resource. Our salmon resource was taken away from commercial inshore fish harvesters and given to the recreational lobby.

The commercial salmon resource is now fully controlled by the corporate recreational groups. They tell science what the status of the resource is, they tell management when to open and close rivers and they are now telling everyone that there should only be hook and release on our rivers.

By the tone of Paul Smith’s lecture, he now wants the same to be done with cod.

I have just one more thing to add: Thanks Paul Smith and The Telegram, with friends like you, rural Newfoundland Labrador surely does not need enemies.

Harvey Jarvis

Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s

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