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FOPO Submits DFO Letter on Prawns

The Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans (FOPO) has published a letter addressed to Minister Bernadette Jordan concerning the ongoing issue of DFO's frozen-at-sea prawn regulation reinterpretation.

The letter which was published on June 21, 2021, addresses an issue that has had many parties, including politicians and prawn harvesters alike, voicing serious concern — the reinterpretation of a DFO regulation that would see the freezing of prawns at sea banned. Many prawn harvesters have voiced their concern that the prohibition of this method of freezing would have severely negative impacts on both their livelihoods and B.C. food security.

This letter, created by FOPO, provides a concise summary on the issue thus far while referencing a slew of concerns raised by those in the industry — including one by UFAWU-Unifor President James Lawson.

"James Lawson, President, United Fishermen and Allied Workers’ Union–Unifor, pointed out that without the practice of tubbing, his First Nation community would be unable to access this local food source," states the letter.

While DFO has committed to not enforcing this reinterpretation during the 2021 season, the letter makes it clear that neither harvesters, nor FOPO members are satisfied by this announcement.

"With respect, that is not enough," states the letter. "Prawn fishers and coastal communities deserve support and certainty from DFO. Therefore, the Committee would like to bring the following recommendations to your attention."

These recommendations include 18 points divided under the catagories of Tubbing, Enforcement and Traceability, Consultation and Support for Coastal Communities, and address many of the concerns voiced by harvesters.

Click here to access the full letter and list of recommendations.

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