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Low-strength gear: fishermen’s demands go unheeded

Îles de la Madeleine

Ottawa is turning a deaf ear to the complaints of Magdalen Islands fishermen, who are asking the government to postpone until 2025 the implementation of the requirement to use low voltage fishing gear, scheduled for the 2023 season.

If a first phase of tests was conducted on the archipelago this summer, the president of the Rassemblement des pêcheurs et pêcheuses des côtes des Iles, Charles Poirier, believes that the technologies are far from being proven.

Taking advantage of the visit to Cap-aux-Meules of the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, the representative of the RPPCI has formally requested a meeting with the Minister of Fisheries, Joyce Murray.

Fishermen from the Islands, as well as their counterparts from other coastal regions of Quebec, are urging Ottawa to postpone until 2025 the implementation of the measure aimed at protecting right whales from entanglement, while ensuring that there is enough adequate gear.

It should be remembered that this constraint stems from the requirements of American regulations on the protection of marine mammals and that the United States is the main export market for lobster.

For his part, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said he was listening to the demands of fishermen without committing to respond.

Finally, the RPPCI underlines that a meeting on the subject of buoys without ropes will be held soon and that the group intends to defend the incompatibility of such a measure with the Magdalen Islands fisheries.

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