Mr. Speaker, in the 1990s the Department of Fisheries and Oceans took the initiative to buy out all of the wild Atlantic salmon commercial fishery licences in Newfoundland and Labrador for conservation reasons. This was a welcome and necessary move.
Now we have a similar situation on the west coast. There are approximately 70 rock cod boats for inside waters on the B.C. coast. Their current and projected catch allocations are too small to be economic due to serious conservation concerns.
I have been asked by licence holders to present to the minister the benefits of a licence buy-back. This would solve the conservation issue and remove extreme economic hardship. It would be in the public interest and would also remove a major long term management hurdle for fisheries and oceans personnel at a reasonable cost. I encourage the minister to quickly adopt this proposal.