For more than a decade we have heard the cry, “The fishery is in crisis!” With each new call comes a new report, a new commission, a new conference.

In May 2006, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams added a new answer to the call, a one day Fisheries Summit. Among those in attendance was E. Derek Butler the executive director of the Association of Seafood Producers.

His presentation drew heavily on AIMS research, as well as the expertise and experience of seafood producers around Newfoundland and Labrador.

Butler patiently explained that the problem is one of over-capacity, not of too few fish, but of too many people chasing the fish. He said there were too many plants, too many licences and too many people in the fishing industry. He pleaded with the government to treat the fishery as a business, not a right.

This Commentary is based on Butler’s remarks to the Fisheries Summit. To read Just too many, click here.