Copyright © 2019 Senator Dennis Patterson.

Press Release – LIFO




June 17, 2016

Ottawa, ON. – Today, Senator Dennis Patterson, Senator for Nunavut, called on the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Hon. Dominic Leblanc, to be fair to Nunavut by respecting the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement when considering changes to the northern shrimp fishery quota allocations in Arctic waters, expected to be announced early next month.

“The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, art. 15.3.7, is very clear that the federal government has a duty to give special consideration to Nunavut when allocating quotas in its adjacent waters.  The NLCA also specifies that the government must consult with Nunavut and the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board on wildlife management measures before polices are established or implemented. But the NWMB has never been consulted about this devastating policy.”

Earlier this year, a Ministerial Advisory Panel was convened to carry out a review of the Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s Last In First Out Policy – LIFO. LIFO was put in place by DFO in 2003 as a Fisheries Management Plan. LIFO is said by the Department to be a way of reducing fishing quotas as a result of climate change.  But this policy, if it is applied, will clearly discriminate against Nunavut, which is a latecomer to the Eastern Arctic fishery, Senator Patterson told the Senate in a statement today.

The panel conducted site visits to various northern shrimp facilities and reviewed 41 submissions from various stakeholders.  Its deadline to submit observations and recommendations to the DFO Minister was extended from June 15 to June 22, 2016.

Many in Nunavut have contended that this policy favours the older, established fisheries since Nunavut fisheries, as the newest license holders, would be the first to lose their shrimp quotas under declining conditions.

“All Nunavut asks for is to be treated fairly and to have the terms of their constitutionally protected Nunavut land claim respected.  Every other jurisdiction in Canada holds 80-95% of the quotas in their adjacent waters, while Nunavut continues to have less than 38% of the Total Allowable Catch in its adjacent waters,” said Senator Patterson.

Minister Leblanc is expected to announce his decision at the Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee meeting in Montreal, scheduled for July 7, 2016.

Quick Facts:

  • Last In First Out was introduced in 2003, as part of the Integrated Fisheries Management Plan.

  • In 2013-14, the market value of Nunavut’s offshore and inshore fisheries totaled $86 million and 370 people were employed in that sector.

  • Since 2005, with the implementation of the Nunavut Fisheries Strategy, over 700 people have been trained in the fisheries sector.

  • NLCA, article 15.3.7:

    • Government recognizes the importance of the principles of adjacency and economic dependence of communities in the Nunavut Settlement Area on marine resources, and shall give special consideration to these factors when allocating commercial fishing licences within Zones I and II. Adjacency means adjacent to or within a reasonable geographic distance of the zone in question. The principles will be applied in such a way as to promote a fair distribution of licences between the residents of the Nunavut Settlement Area and the other residents of Canada and in a manner consistent with Canada’s interjurisdictional obligations.

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