The Fumoir d’Antan is staying the course despite the new restrictions announced by Fisheries and Oceans Canada concerning mackerel and herring, two species that represent nearly 40% of its production.
As revealed by various media outlets last week, traditional herring smoking will be suspended until at least 2023, at which time the department will re-evaluate its decision based on the state of stocks.
For the owner of the smokehouse, Benoît Arseneau, there is nothing surprising in this announcement as the availability of the resource has been a concern for his suppliers for quite some time.
If herring is a product of appeal for the Fumoir d’Antan, Benoît Arseneau says that the pandemic had already forced a readjustment of the interpretation visits and that the ban on catches has accelerated this repositioning around other products.
He is nevertheless sorry to see a species strongly associated with the economic development of the Islands disappear from his shelves and indicates that he has received many calls since the announcement.
He invites DFO and the fishing industry to quickly find sustainable solutions for the production of bait, which could, according to him, eventually allow for a dedicated fishery for bio-food processing.
Benoît Arseneau mentioned that he had sent his complaints in writing to the federal MP for Gaspésie-les-Iles, Diane Lebouthillier.
He reminds us that the Fumoir d’Antan remains open and has an inventory of smoked herring from last year’s production.