Acadian Peninsula shrimpers will shun redfish

The opening of commercial redfish fishing is scheduled for Saturday, but shrimpers from the Acadian Peninsula will not be rushing to get out to sea.

Several factors will slow down their desire to fish for this groundfish.

The insufficient quota, the low prices per pound, the exorbitant cost of modifying vessels and the absence of processing plants in New Brunswick will convince fishermen to stay at the dock at least until the fall. .

Dominic Gionet is currently fishing for shrimp in the corner of Newfoundland. Nothing in the plan revealed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) encourages him to drop everything to go redfish fishing.

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Dominic Gionet, northern shrimp fisherman, interviewed on June 1st.

Photo: Radio-Canada

The federal Minister of Fisheries, Diane Lebouthillier, announced an allocation of 60,000 tonnes of redfish for this first commercial fishing season, but only 10% is granted to shrimpers in Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

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Minister Diane Lebouthillier announced a quota of 60,000 tonnes of redfish. (Archive photo)

Photo: The Canadian Press / Sean Kilpatrick

He maintains that the minister’s plan favors vessels over 100 feet which already have the equipment for bottom fishing.

For shrimp boats less than 100 feet long, this requires costly conversions.

Jean Lanteigne, general director of the Acadian Regional Federation of Professional Fishermen (FRAPP), believes that it is impossible to make this fishing profitable with the low quota granted.

With what we consider crumbs, 10% is far from being a quantity that can allow the survival of the fleet.

Jean Lanteigne, general director of the Acadian Regional Federation of Professional Fishermen.

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Jean Lanteigne, general director of the Acadian Regional Federation of Professional Fishermen, does not believe that redfish fishing will be profitable. (Archive photo)

Photo: Radio-Canada / Martin Toulgoat

Processors believe this new fishery must be approached with caution.

McGraw Seafoodfrom Tracadie in New Brunswick, has acquired second-hand equipment to process small quantities of redfish in its factory, says its development manager, Gilles Thériault.

Gilles Thériault interviewed outside in front of the Radio-Canada station in Moncton.

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Gilles Thériault, development manager at McGraw Seafood, in an interview Thursday.

Photo: Radio-Canada

We need to equip ourselves with boats, we need to equip ourselves with a processing plant and, above all, find markets. It doesn’t happen overnighthe notes.

It will therefore not be tomorrow, according to several fishermen, that we will see shrimpers bringing loads of redfish to the docks of the Acadian Peninsula.

According to the report by Réal Fradette and with information from Nicolas Steinbach

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