Mr. Speaker, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is presently buying back lobster fishing licences in New Brunswick.
Although it claims that this is totally a voluntary process, fishers in Atlantic Canada feel forced into having to sell their fishing gear, with fear that soon there will be no more fishing industry left.
These fishers are worried because no progress has yet been made on agreements with members of the native fishing communities, while tensions between natives and non-natives appear to have been increasing since the Marshall decision.
The federal government is once again turning its back on Atlantic Canada by refusing to show leadership in this growing crisis. DFO is responsible for the management of fish stocks and it should have firm rules in place prior to the start of the spring fishing season.
I call upon the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to resolve this dispute before there is a collapse in the fishing industry, which includes lobster, scallop, crab and shrimp, to name a few.
The livelihood of too many Maritime families is at stake.