Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I would like to follow on Mr. Bradgon's comments. That is exactly what happened.
As the minister said, the plants were not ready. Plants had to put in place safety protocols for employees, and even fishers realized that the plants were not ready. There have been cases of COVID-19, for example, in Quebec. So safety protocols had to be implemented for plant employees so that they could work in a safe environment. Several associations asked that the fishing season be delayed.
In this regard, Madam Minister, for the past four years, the presence of right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence has had a significant impact on the industry and our communities, as you know. This year has not been easy so far, but I would like to thank you. Indeed, measures were relaxed again this year.
We have removed the static zone and set up dynamic zones. These measures were proposed to us by industry, by associations. We also brought in Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers. The hovercraft came into the area much earlier than usual. We also have a contract with an icebreaker that came in to open up the seaports in the region so that the season could start earlier. I thank you for that.
Nevertheless, it is not easy this year, as you know. Whales are in the Gulf. Several fishing areas are closed. In the past four years, we have always been able to adapt. We have also listened to the industry to ensure that the measures concerning right whales are adjusted from year to year, but also so that we do not lose the market in the United States, for example, and elsewhere in the world.
Madam Minister, as you know, fishers are a little frustrated with the situation at the moment. The community is suffering as well, and I would like to ask you this.
Are you prepared, as we have been doing for the past four years, to once again consider improvements to right whale protection measures so that fishers can bring their quotas ashore, but also so that the employees and communities depending on the fishery can make a living from this industry? The region is in great need of it.