Protect our fishing industry from unnecessary disruption and closures due to an MPA.
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Our Eastern Shore Islands have been named an "Area Of Interest" (AOI) for the purpose of implementing a Marine Protected Area (MPA).
The federal department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada had not been operating in good faith. They are attempting to impose this MPA upon us without proper consultation or proper disclosure of the impacts on the Easter Shore fishing industry.
Here are the present questions that have not yet been answered:
1. What is the purpose or goals of this MPA and what exactly is to be protected that is unique to this area?
2. This area has been deemed pristine by Fisheries and Oceans Canada after over 100 years of fishing, why would any MPA be required to alter any fishing activity that has done no harm after such a long history?
3. List the species and area that are to be protected with an explanation as to how an MPA will achieve this goal?
4. What level of protection above present regulations are offered by an MPA?
The fact remains that DFO has been unable to explain why an MPA is needed nor have they been able to offer us any benefits from an MPA. What they have conceded is that an MPA will not prohibit oil and gas development, nor prevent open-pen finfish aquaculture, nor prevent coastal industrial development. All of those are risks to the environment and jeopardize goals of any MPA. These major risks will not be prohibited, yet fishing will be restricted to some degree after proving sustainability and environmental compatibility for over 100 years. At present, the proposed MPA seems to only be detrimental to the fishing industry which is the lifeblood for the eastern shore!
At present, DFO is still attempting to convince fishers to accept a "NO TAKE ZONE" within an MPA. Fishers who are already struggling due to a lack of space understand that giving up any amount of fishing grounds is not an option. As long as the idea of a "NO TAKE ZONE" is on the table for discussion there is no discussion to be had.
The undersigned fishers, their families, and community members reject an MPA in its entirety if there is a "NO TAKE ZONE" and reserve the right to further reject the proposed MPA if our concerns are not addressed satisfactorily.
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