Fight Against DFO Prawn Tubbing Ban Continues

The fight against a potential ban on prawn tubbing continues as an increasing number of individuals from both political and industry backgrounds voice their opposition to DFO’s plan.

On May 26, a meeting between the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans and a handful of DFO representatives took place. 

In this meeting, DFO representatives were repeatedly asked to explain the reasoning behind DFO’s decision to reinterpret prawn tubbing regulations. 

During the meeting, FOPO members were in the unique position of unanimous agreement that DFO’s decisions would have little in the way of positive impact.

“I want to thank the department of fisheries and oceans for doing something that not even the Covid-19 pandemic could do,” Conservative MP Blaine Calkins said. “Which is to bring the four political parties together unanimously in agreement in something that appears to be an egregious overstep on the part of the government.”

At a following FOPO meeting on June 2, NDP MP Gord Johns pressed Minister Jordan for answers on a potential prawn crisis. In response, Jordan voiced a clear commitment to solving the issue.

“Minister, they need to hear from you soon, because your department is losing confidence,” Johns said in response. 

Jim Morrison, a marine biologist who was the Department’s lead prawn fishery manager for the Pacific Region for over a decade, has also voiced his concern following FOPO’s May 26 meeting.

In a letter written to the standing committee, Morrison outlined a number of incorrect statements made by DFO representatives.

These included the inaccurate DFO suggestion that size limits are a conservation measure which permit prawns to achieve sexual maturity and reproduce before harvest.

A previous meeting took place on May 3, in which FOPO members interviewed industry experts on the proposed DFO regulation reinterpretation. These witnesses included UFAWU-Unifor President James Lawson and UFAWU-Unifor Business Agent Emily Orr. For more information on that meeting, click here.