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Liberal Caucus Cautions Decision to Shut Down Elver Fishery

Mar 12, 2024

The federal Fisheries minister’s decision to not open the elver fishery for the 2024 season will only lead to more illegal activity and violence.

“This decision punishes legal license holders and will do nothing to stop the illegal harvesting of elvers in our waterways,” said Opposition Leader Zach Churchill. “We’re concerned this move will escalate tensions and lead to more illegal activity and increased violence in the region.”


Despite receiving more than 1,400 reports of illegal harvesting of the elvers last year on East Coast rivers, DFO only laid 60 Fisheries Act charges, and no one was prosecuted.


“We have long been calling for increased enforcement from both DFO and the province,” said Fisheries critic Ronnie Leblanc. “Without significant enforcement, in essence, this is an open invitation for poachers to infest our provincial rivers and jeopardize public safety.”


Shutting legal harvesters out of the 2024 elver fishing season will have significant economic impacts for communities throughout the region.


“Legal license holders in my riding of Annapolis contribute greatly to the local economy,” said MLA Carman Kerr. “One constituent in particular has used revenue from the fishery to open several other businesses that serve our community. This decision will have a serious ripple effect.”

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