Student Independent Projects Environmental Studies 2015: An analysis of Newfoundland and Labrador's shrimp fishery crisis using the Provincial Coastal and Oceans Management Strategy and Policy Framework

Blackwood, April (2015) Student Independent Projects Environmental Studies 2015: An analysis of Newfoundland and Labrador's shrimp fishery crisis using the Provincial Coastal and Oceans Management Strategy and Policy Framework. Research Report. Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The ocean is one of Earth's most valuable natural resources. From regulating the climate to providing a source of food, the ocean has an interrelated economic, ecological and social importance. The economic, environmental and cultural history of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) are all intrinsically linked to the Atlantic Ocean and its resources. Protection of the coastal and ocean environments was not only important to the province’s past but is also widely recognized as vitally important for the future of the province. In June of 2011 the provincial Government of Newfoundland and Labrador introduced a Coastal and Ocean Management Strategy and Policy Framework (Government of NL, 2011a). The framework is designed to recognize the diversity of various stakeholders who rely on healthy coastal and ocean areas and to work together to provide long-term sustainable use of resources. One of the goals of the policy framework is to guide the coordination of provincial coastal and ocean policy in relation to priority issues identified for the province, with increased collaboration between governments, stakeholders, and communities (Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, 2010). This research paper asks the question: how might the province’s new coastal and oceans management strategy and policy framework be used to address major coastal and oceans problems? To answer this question, the paper applies the policy framework to an emerging crisis in one of the province’s most important fisheries – the northern shrimp fisheries. Despite fundamental social-ecological transformations in recent decades, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador continues to rely heavily on the ocean for the fishery resources it provides. Following the collapse of the cod fishery in 1992, and the subsequent moratoria on cod and other groundfish fisheries that put tens of thousands of people in the province out of work, many harvesters and processors in coastal communities in the province turned to increasingly lucrative and abundant crab and shrimp as a new means of income and industry (Foley et al. 2013). However, due to a number of reasons, including an increase in cod numbers and rising ocean temperatures, northern shrimp stocks are in decline (Lilly et al, 2000). This decline led the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), the federal agency responsible for fish allocations, to make cut backs on the shrimp quota in recent years. These quota reductions are impacting the inshore fishery, which supports the shore based and community-based processing plants where workers produce cooked and peeled shrimp, much more negatively than the offshore fishery, which produces frozen shell on shrimp onboard offshore vessels for sale into global markets (Keenan and Carruthers, 2015). The allocation of higher quota reductions in the inshore sector than the offshore sector in ocean areas close to the province has led to intense and highly 4 politicized disagreements and distraught feelings from local rural communities that depend on the fishery for their livelihoods. The purpose of this research paper is to apply the province’s Coastal and Ocean Management Strategy and Policy Framework to the province’s northern shrimp fishery. The paper uses the framework as an analytical approach to explore potential ways to practically address and overcome the multi-faceted social, environmental, and political issues the province’s northern shrimp fishery, particularly the inshore sector, is currently facing. The policy framework is designed to address specific coastal and ocean issues, some of which can be related to the shrimp fishery. The issues are divided into six objectives: Healthy Marine Environments, Social, Cultural, and Economic Sustainability, Coastal Land Use, Competing Needs and Interests, Coastal and Marine Infrastructure, and Climate Change. This paper begins by examining the Coastal and Ocean Management Strategy that the province has developed to protect the ocean and coastline. This includes analyzing the goals, principles, tools, and departments involved in the strategy. Following this, the paper introduces the history and current issues facing the shrimp fishery in the province, specifically focusing on the decline in the resource and recent allocation changes and controversies. The policy framework is then applied to key issues in the fishery using some of the strategy objectives outlined above. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop a better understanding of how the NL Coastal and Ocean Management Strategy and Policy Framework can be potentially applied to coastal management challenges, such as at the shrimp fishery, to promote solutions.

Item Type: Report (Research Report)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11927
Item ID: 11927
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > Division of Social Science > Environmental Studies
Grenfell Campus > Division of Social Science > Environmental Studies
Date: 2015
Date Type: Submission

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