MOU (Memorandum of Understanding), Restructuring, Rationalization, Moritorium. Do you ever get the feeling these are careful thought out words used by the powers that be to recreate a fishery that no longer belongs to us. I mean, when do we as the people of this province sit and talk like that over a tea with Aunt May, or a whiskey with Skipper John. Truth is someone else now controls the fishery, and we are letting it go. The resource that sustained Rural Newfoundland and Labrador for centuries "rationalized" to a business model that sees businesses gain and communities lose.
The trully sad part is that we are told that this is the only way, by the same people who sit and think of words like Moritorium and Rationalization. But let's get our heads back on straight. The co-op model of Fogo Island is a successful community venture, born of necessity but fed on innovation. Can we be so bold as to reclaim our birthright? Can we afford not to?
Communities need to have a say into any restructuring of the fishery period. We are, each of us, the primary stakeholder. Why then are we the forgotten stakeholder.
Minister Jackman is to be congratulated for finally acknowleding that the people of our rural communities need to be heard on the fishery. Unfortunately he suggested the time to be heard is after the restructuring. After business has had it's voice heard load and clear and recorded in official documentation minister Jackman thinks it will be enough to go to the wharf and let the average fisherman have his say. He even brags that unofficially he has done this. Unofficial dialogue outside the MOU between a fisherman and Minister with "no bureaucrats" will have as much strength as a third-hand teabag.
Where were you when they let let the rural fishery die?