07/23/2014 06:56 EDT | Updated 09/22/2014 05:59 EDT

Federal fisheries minister stands by shrimp quota cuts in Newfoundland

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea has told an all-party committee in Newfoundland and Labrador that Ottawa's shrimp quota cuts won't be changed.

Shea met with the provincial committee Tuesday in St. John's.

She says the decision to reduce shrimp quotas for the inshore fishery by 10,000 tonnes was not an easy one, but it was made on clear science and long-standing policies.

Shea also says had the province reduced the processing sector like it said it would back in 2007, the impact of the quota reductions would have been limited.

Provincial Fisheries Minister Keith Hutchings says no one is arguing the science, but what the all-party committee wants is the quota distributed more equitably.

As for the reduction of the sector, Hutchings says in 2007 there were 187 licensed fish plants and today there are 86.

He says the province has stepped in with the fisheries loan guarantee program and a host of other programs to give harvesters the ability to access capital or to buy out.