09 January 2012

A familiar, fishy tale #nlpoli

Scientists told some American fishermen before Christmas that the cod the fishermen depend on for their livelihood are in danger of disappearing unless the fishermen change their ways.

Frig off, say the fishermen.

People from this province will recognise the drama.  Evidence says one thing.  A whole bunch of people deny it.

The drama continues to this day in Newfoundland and Labrador as the same people who have fought steadfastly against reforming the fishery continue their struggle.

You can spot the denial experts because they all got sucked in by a news release from the fisheries department last week. ‘Ocean Choice International Denied Permanent Redfish Exemption” screamed the headline.  Hooray, screamed the Deniers.  That’ll teach the Latest Evil Ones that they cannot pull a fast one.

Yes folks, there is no crisis.

It’s all just made up.

Now of course, the provincial government won’t grant a permanent exemption.  The fisheries minister and his colleagues are still in denial about the scope of the fisheries crisis and the need for dramatic change.

But in a few weeks time, Darin King will have to do something.  Odds are he will give OCI what it really wants, namely the end of restrictions on its processing licenses that force the company to process fish in this province even if it isn’t profitable to do so.

They won‘t be permanent exemptions.

But they company will get exemptions.

The reason is right there in the release:

“Yesterday we learned that OCI intends to proceed with plans to fish redfish from quotas purchased from license holders in Nova Scotia. The company has said if we provide an exemption, they will land the fish in Newfoundland and Labrador, otherwise it would be landed elsewhere.”

Then you put that with King’s guiding principles, as reported by the Telegram:

… no [provincial] government subsidies for the fishery, and making moves that maximize the benefit of the resource for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

King is just pretending because he is politically jammed up.  He gets praised today but in a few days or weeks, the same people will be attacking him.

Denying reality is a familiar, fishy tale whether you are in New England or Newfoundland.

The only difference is how long it takes for reality to take hold.

- srbp -