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April 6th, 2023

NDP calls for a ban on the transfer of commercial fishing licenses to foreign fisheries

OTTAWA – NDP Fisheries and Oceans critic Lisa Marie Barron (Nanaimo - Ladysmith) and deputy critic Taylor Bachrach (Skeena - Bulkley Valley) are demanding that the Liberal government end the transfer of commercial fishing licences to massive foreign fishers. In a letterto the Fisheries and Oceans Minister, Joyce Murray, they highlighted the importance of this ban as a part of a Pacific Salmon Strategy, to protect wild salmon, coastal communities, and the livelihoods of local workers.

“The well being of wild pacific salmon is vital to our communities. People rely on wild salmon to feed their families and earn their livelihoods,” said MP Barron. “But as it stands now, there is no cap on foreign ownership of commercial fishing licenses in the Pacific - so big international corporations can swoop in and take business from local B.C. fishers. Canadian-owned fishing operations, harvesters and their families are in jeopardy because the Liberals refuse to stand up to rich CEOs.”

Since there are no restrictions on foreign ownership of commercial fishing licenses or quotas, there is a huge risk to the economic viability of Canadian fisheries and Canadian food security. Already Canadians have seen a loss of domestic fish processing capacity and jobs.

“There is a clear problem here. We should be prioritizing the wellbeing of wild salmon and coastal communities, not allowing our fisheries to be sold to foreign corporations,” said MP Bachrach. “The Liberals and Conservatives have done nothing to stop this sell-off, but New Democrats will keep fighting for our coastal communities, workers, and the next generation of Canadian fish harvesters. We won’t stop until there is a full ban on the transfers of fishing licences to foreign corporations.”