Tag Archives: Fish

‘I don’t know where the breaking point is at’: A look at the threats the Louisiana seafood industry faces

Whether it’s crawfish, crabs, fish, shrimp or oysters, Louisiana is known for its seafood. The seafood industry is one of Louisiana’s largest employers. But the Louisiana seafood industry is threatened. “We are accountable for one-third of the seafood in this country. That’s something to be proud of,” said Mitch Jurisich, the chairman of the Louisiana Oyster Task Force and a third-generation oyster farmer. “But the industry, it seems like we’ve been under attack for several years now.” Those we talked to in the shrimp and oyster fishing business say there are problems gripping the seafood industry, including price, government projects and natural disasters. Let’s start with the price. Video, >click to read/watch<   21:44

‘You can’t touch the union boat’- Part III: ‘Where did all the f—ing money go?’

Former offshore trawlermen demand investigation into what happened to millions of dollars generated from offshore crab quota meant to support them, and how it was sold without their knowledge for fraction of value to Conne River First Nation  The controversial offshore snow crab quota fished by “the union boat” for almost 20 years, generating revenues estimated at between $30 and $60 million, was quietly sold late last year to the  Miawpukek First Nation at Conne River for $1 million.,, The news raises the question why the offshore crab quota that reached as high as 500 tonnes (1.1 million pounds) sold for millions of dollars less than market value? The going rate today for a small supplementary crab licence (65,000 pounds) is more than $2 million.,, Bateman worries that nothing will come from his whistleblowing. “If a Fishery Officer feels as strongly as I do to come forward publicly and nothing is done, then maybe there’s no hope.” >click to read< 10:48

‘You can’t touch the union boat’- Part II – FFAW crab licence

When Fishery Officers Jason Bateman and Ryan Legge inspected the F/V Katrina Charlene in late June, 2011 at the wharf in St. Lawrence word spread immediately up the chain of command within the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in Newfoundland and Labrador. Managers themselves with the department’s Enforcement and Conservation division specifically referred to the fishing vessel as “operating under the FFAW crab licence. ”On June, 27th 2011, the day the skipper of the Katrina Charlene was charged with illegally fishing undersized snow crab, an email,,, It read: “Kevin, A heads up that we are in the process of an inspection in St. Lawrence on the F/V Katrina Charlene operated under the FFAW crab licence. >click to read< 10:33

‘You can’t touch the union boat’- Former Fishery Officer alleges DFO kept 2012 Katrina Charlene conviction quiet

The Katrina Charlene and the crab quota it was built to fish have been in the news for almost 20 years for their connection to the FFAW. The story made national news in February when a Fishery Officer alleged DFO kept quiet a conviction against the trawler, so as to not embarrass the union. Today, there’s news the quota sold recently for $1 million, a fraction of its estimated value, to Conne River First Nation. The boat and quota have been sold, but questions remain. What happened to the tens of millions of dollars generated by the crab quota? Fisherman’s Road lays out the story as it’s never been told. First of a three-part series. By Ryan Cleary >click to read<  11:59

Pacific Seafoods Charleston branch unaffected by coronavirus

While the Newport branch of Pacific Seafood has recorded 124 positive cases of COVID-19, the Charleston branch of the same company has been unaffected. “The cluster of COVID-19 cases in Newport has not impacted our operations or team members in Charleston. No workers from Newport have relocated to Charleston, or to any other facilities,” said Lacy Ogan,,, Pacific Seafood in Charleston has reported that safety precautions are in place. These steps have included increased cleaning protocols, face coverings, daily temperature checks, staggered shifts to allow for less people together and restricted access provided to the facility. >click to read< 16:43

Government of Canada establishes Atlantic Seal Task Team

The sustainable management of Canadian fisheries is important to fish harvesters whose livelihoods are supported by the ocean. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) ensures that the best available science is considered when making management decisions for seals. However, DFO has continuously heard concerns by fish harvesters about the relationship between seals and fish populations. Listening to these concerns, DFO is taking action to address a concern that encompasses not only Newfoundland and Labrador, but all Atlantic Canada and Quebec coasts. >click to read<16:18

Refusing to Leave! St. Bernard fisherman in Washington, DC to make their case for millions in federal aid

Fishermen and elected leaders from St. Bernard Parish are refusing to leave Washington, DC without $150 million in federal disaster aid, funded through a federal fisheries disaster declaration. They say repeat openings of the Bonnet Carre spillway has flooded the coast with fresh water that seafood cannot tolerate. St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis said the openings are destroying the $4 billion regional seafood industry and the money would be used to subsidize fishermen, repair fishing grounds and coastal waters. >click to read< 08:35

Lots of inshore issues to talk about at DFO meeting in Shearstown

Wednesday’s meeting in Shearstown for inshore harvesters was filled to the brim with conversation, as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans allowed the event to continue well beyond its planned two-hour duration. The discussion covered an array of topics, from the future of bycatch to qualms about size restrictions for vessels and the potential for oil exploration to harm marine life. Chad Payne, a harvester from Old Perlican, brought up the bycatch issue. He said it seemed wasteful for harvesters to get rid of perfectly good fish,,, >click here to read< 20:36

Fish, Drugs, and Murder – As fisheries along this idyllic looking coast unravel, so does social order.

Lieutenant Olivier Ramirez didn’t waste time. On an August morning in 2015, he scrambled a small coast guard team on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Local fishermen had spotted poachers hauling nets full of shimmering fish from the Gulf of Nicoya. Ramirez hoped to catch the offenders and press charges. But that morning, little went according to plan: Ramirez and his men intercepted the poachers close to their home base and within minutes, the officers were in serious trouble. Dozens of poachers were swarming to the scene, wielding rocks, machetes, quarter-stick explosives, and Molotov cocktails. Audio, click here to read the story 07:55

Letter: Why Richard Gillett went on a hunger strike. ” In my opinion he is a brave man,,,”

April 13th, Richard Gillett went on a hunger strike because he felt that rural Newfoundland and Labrador was facing a bleak future due to the mismanagement of oceans that had sustained us for 500 years. Richard had two requests: one for a review of the science and management of all provincial fish stocks, the other a review of the relationship of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Those are two very legitimate questions.,, In my opinion he is a brave man who is concerned about this province and has done more than anyone since the moratorium to bring to the forefront the state of our oceans. Click here to read Capt. Wilfred Bartlett, retired, letter 17:41

Northern Peninsula shrimp fishers see no reason to fish in 2017

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union held a meeting for the 4R fleet in Hawke’s Bay on April 24. FFAW 4R chair, Rendell Genge, and the 4R vice chair, Roland Genge, both from Anchor Point, say that if the current outlook persists, in regards to prices and quotas, it’s likely that none of the 4R fleet will participate in the northern shrimp fishery this year. Earlier this year, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) announced the northern shrimp quota in shrimp fishing area 6 (SFA 6) would be cut by 63 per cent. Coming on the heels of this was the news that the price for northern shrimp has dropped from $1.40 per pound in 2016 to $0.95 this year. The 4R fishers say they want better prices for shrimp before they can even think about fishing for it. To give a sense of how drastic the reductions in quotas and price would be this year, Roland explained the math. click here to read the story 21:18

Stakeholders hope for more input, more preparedness for potential cod fishery

When it comes to a rebuilding plan for the northern cod stocks, the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union wants the government to remember why it’s important to plan for the longevity for the groundfish off the province’s northeast coasts. “That fishery and the way it was, was the lifeblood of many, many communities around rural Newfoundland and Labrador,” FFAW secretary treasurer Dave Decker says. “It’s important that as we are rebuilding that stock … we keep focus on why we’re rebuilding fisheries and it’s to rejuvenate the same communities. Decker took comfort that towns and harvesters affected by a cod moratorium that will celebrate a 25-year anniversary this year weren’t forgotten in a standing committee on fisheries and oceans report tabled in the House of Commons Monday. Ken McDonald, Member of Parliament for Avalon, who initially motioned for the study last February, is hopeful that investments into DFO last year to create 135 new jobs for research scientists following years of cutbacks will help facilitate those assessments.  continue reading the article here 22:15

Fish harvesters raise industry concerns at Fish-NL meeting in Marystown

ryan-cleary-marystownHarvesters from around the Burin Peninsula had an opportunity to raise their concerns about the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) union during a series of meetings held in the region last week. Additional meetings were held in Bay L’Argent, Fortune, Lawn and Petite Forte. Wayne Meade, who fishes out of Grand Bank, was one of the attendees at last weeks meeting in Marystown. “I fished scallop on St. Pierre bank for a number of years and in 2006 they (FFAW) give away the middle (scallop) bed and the southern bed to the big offshore companies,” he said. “I held a license for that area for the last 25 years and overnight I had it took from (me), so there’s nothing fair about that.” Ryan Cleary, president of FISH-NL said the harvesters at the Marystown meeting are not alone in their feelings. Read the story here 18:24

Didn’t the train leave the station? FFAW will try to do a better job at communicating with members

2016-09-21-09-51-11-ws-03-22092016-ffaw-file_webccAs the FFAW (Fish, Food and Allied Workers) union faces an exodus of members, staff representative Jason Spingle said the union is taking the issue very seriously. FISH-NL, the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador — an effort of former MP Ryan Cleary and fishermen Jason Sullivan and Richard Gillett — held meetings in Corner Brook and Clarenville this week to gauge and drum up support for the new union. Spingle, who works out of the FFAW’s Corner Brook office representing members from the west coast, Northern Peninsula and Labrador, said he’s seen the coverage of the meetings and recognized a lot of the faces of those who are supporting FISH-NL. With around 2,000 members in the region though, Spingle said there were a lot of people who were not at the meetings. Read the story here 17:22

Fish Harvesters from around west coast attend meeting in Corner Brook to support FISH-NL

2016-09-19-08-45-58-ws-01-20092016-fishnl-dc_webccBruce Short was not one of the ones who needed convincing. The Beaumont, Long Island fisherman drove three hours to the Royal Canadian Legion in Corner Brook on Monday to attend a meeting on the formation of a new union to represent fish harvesters in the province. “This is the most exciting day in my life, to see that the fishermen in this province are starting to get a backbone,” Short said just minutes after addressing the crowd of about 250 men and women with his support of the new FISH-NL, the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador. He said it was time to get rid of the regime of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union, a group he called “just a Mafia.” Read the story here 08:01

Upstart FISH-NL Turns Up the Heat on Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union!

Things got a little heated outside the Fish, Food and Allied Workers office in Corner Brook when some 250 harvesters from around the west coast marched there to show the union they are fed up with the representation they’ve been getting. The group had been attending a meeting on the formation of a new union at the Legion when Conway Caines of Cow Head, a regular on the Discovery Channel’s “Cold Water Cowboys,” suggested they hold a peaceful walk to the union’s office. Ryan Cleary, former MP and one of the men behind the formation of FISH-NL (the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador), went with them. Cleary said FFAW president Keith Sullivan made a remark to the CBC that the group interested in forming the new union was a vocal minority. Read the story here 17:37

Fish harvesters are “ready to revolt.” Ryan Cleary to help form breakaway fish union

A former NDP MP says forming a new union for fishermen will be a big challenge, but Ryan Cleary told reporters on Monday that he thinks it is possible.  Cleary held a news conference in Petty Harbour to talk about what he called a “David versus Goliath challenge.” Harvesters have been pleading with him to start a union that represents fishermen only, Cleary said. They are currently part of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW), which also represents plant workers. Cleary called that a “conflict of interest,” and said it’s hard for the union to be critical of government policies when it received “untold millions” from the federal government. He said harvesters are “ready to revolt.” Read the story here ‘Fish harvesters have lost confidence in the FFAW’ – Read this article here ‘The FFAW is a conflict of interest wrapped in a mystery inside a huge puzzle with pieces missing, the missing pieces being fish’ Read this article here 07:50

Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union News Release: Improvements to Northern Cod Fishery are a Step in the Right Direction

ffaw sullivanSt. Johns – The one-year management approach for the 2016 2J3KL Stewardship Cod fishery signals a new chapter in rebuilding the cod fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador. The improvements in the approach for the 2016 fishery, announced by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) last week, includes a lengthened season with opportunities to harvest more cod. According to data from DFO, the Northern cod spawning stock biomass has increased from 20,000 tonnes in 1997 to 300,000 tonnes today. “Rebuilding the cod fishery will bring with it many challenges and opportunities,” said Keith Sullivan, President of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union. “This new approach will provide harvesters with an increased opportunity to harvest and will give the processing sector opportunities to market more sustainable, high quality cod.” Read the press release here 11:34

Grand Bank scallop fishermen once again block access to Clearwater Seafoods plant

scallopers protest clearwaterThe harvesters want answers from the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) union and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) about access to scallop beds on St. Pierre Bank. The fishermen initially blocked the plant on Monday and thought they might be making some headway when they were invited to take part in a conference call with Bonavista-Burin-Trinity MP Judy Foote, DFO officials and the union on Thursday. Things didn’t pan out as the harvesters had hoped, however, Wayne Meade said. FFAW-Unifor representatives spoke with government first. The union then held a second conference call with the fishermen without anyone from government on the line, Meade said. Which pissed them off! Read the rest here 18:41

FFAW, offshore shrimp fleet at odds, as LIFO raises its ugly head

2016-02-25-07-43-07-TEL-XXX-26022016-ShrimpDebate-SUBWith word of a severe drop in shrimp stock in the prime fishing grounds off southern Labrador, the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union (FFAW-Unifor) is asking for an immediate halt on shrimping in the area. But the FFAW represents inshore fleet and island processors, rather than the factory-freezer operations of the offshore fleet. And the Canadian Association of Prawn Producers, speaking for the larger-vessel operations, said Thursday the FFAW’s cries are an inappropriate reaction, while their reasoning is misleading. Read the rest here 08:40

Fish found in Washington’s Puget Sound are tripping on cocaine, Prozac, Advil, Benadryl, and Lipitor.

Unfortunately, there is no aquatic drug dealer responsible for it. Instead, the intoxication is the result of tainted discharge water. Pharmaceutical pollution could be to blame for the many drugs showing up in the tissues of juvenile Chinook salmon. Estuary waters near the sewage treatment plants were found to contain a cocktail of up to 81 different drugs, according to a new study out of the National Oceanie and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  There are several plausible theories about the Puget Sound’s high concentration of . Jim Meador, an environmental toxicologist at the NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, published a study that offered two options. Read the rest here 14:03

Fisherman blames factory freezer trawlers for shrimp decline

SHRIMP-master675Roland Genge, a fishing boat captain and the deputy mayor of the town of Anchor Point on the Northern Peninsula, has been predicting a change for years, and believes someone should have known there would be damaging effects of trawlers on the inshore fishery. “I’ve been writing (about this) since 2008,” the 38-year veteran shrimp fisherman explained. “I told (the government) where it was going to be to today. “It’s devastating to our area. You’re going to kill all the communities with this.” Predictions of the state of the shrimp fishery were made public earlier this week when the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) in a press release (here) The union has been told the shrimp biomass is down about 40 per cent. Read the rest here 08:52

‘Shafted’ by FFAW, Flowers Cove fisherman tells court

A fish harvester from Flowers Cove says he feels “shafted” by his union because of the terms of a compensation fund negotiated with Nalcor, to offset the loss of scallop grounds in the Strait of Belle Isle. Edmund Moores is one of 71 people who are suing the union, in a trial that continued Wednesday in the . The Fish, Food and Allied Workers argues that the $2,590,875 should be paid out in annual installments over 30 years. The court has been told they believed the money would be paid out in a lump sum. Read the article here 08:27

Not clear how TPP will affect fishery, says FFAW’s Keith Sullivan

The president of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union says it’s not yet clear how the deal reached this week will affect Newfoundland and Labrador’s fishing industry. On Monday, a 12-nation tariff-cutting trade deal was reached that will see the participating countries enjoy a significant drop in tariffs almost across the board. Conservative Leader Stephen Harper says the deal with “without any doubt” in Canada’s best interests. But FFAW president Keith Sullivan said he’s still not sure how significantly the agreement will affect fish harvesters in this province. Read the rest here 09:38

Fish, shellfish recovered from Katrina faster than fishermen

As Hurricane Katrina lashed everything above ground, it also caused problems for seafood in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. With the exception of oysters, seafood does OK during hurricanes,” Caffey said. “The sediment can smother an oyster bed and cause short-term losses. Long term, fishermen don’t do well.” That’s because fishermen rely on boats, processing plants and docks that get walloped by the hurricanes, and that leaves livelihoods in danger. Read the rest here 17:06

Tina Ward was penniless and unemployed – Fish, family and the ties that bind

Tina Ward, right, stands with her oldest daughter, Sydney, at the Sportsmen’s Cannery, dockside at the Port of Ilwaco, WashingtonTina Ward was penniless and unemployed the day she stepped from the bus in Seaview, Washington, and headed in to apply for a job as a fish processor at the Sportsmen’s Cannery. It was an act that would shape and change her life forever, but of course, she couldn’t have known that then — when you’re only 13 years old, the moving hand of fate can be pretty hard to recognize. More than three decades later, sitting outside the same cannery, now as its owner, she laughs about that long-ago summer day: “It was time to think about school clothes for the fall, Read the rest here 09:54

Sheriff Allman speaks in Sacramento at ‘Fish, Flows and Marijuana Grows’

Allman opened by offering a subtitle to the Fish, Flows and Marijuana Grows named hearing. “Wildlife, Water and Weed, that’s what we’re seeing in Mendocino County,” he said.  “The amount of water being diverted is absolutely staggering,”  Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Healdsburgsaid. “We need to get a handle on this.” “This industry has been in the shadows for a long time,” Hezekiah Allen, Emerald Growers Association said. “The war on drugs has not only failed us, but created this situation. This is commercial agriculture. Regulate this please. We would rather pay taxes than fines.” Read the rest here 14:41

FFAW members protest federal ‘attacks’ on N.L. fisheries – P.E.I.’s halibut quota a “kick in the gut”

Around 50 fishers and several politicians came out in front of the Joseph R. Smallwood building to voice their anger with the decisions of Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea.  FFAW members say recent policies appeal to Maritime voters while disadvantaging workers in this province. “These continued attacks by the federal Conservative government on rural Newfoundland and Labrador are shameful,” FFAW president Keith Sullivan said in a statement. Read the rest here 09:51

South coast harvesters blast DFO and FFAW; call conservation ‘a joke’ – Cod fishery extended into spawning season … again

Inshore fish harvesters on the south coast of Newfoundland are accusing the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) of using the guise of science to allow large company-owned trawlers to catch cod during a time that is traditionally closed for cod spawning. The cod fishery in area 3Ps was set to close for spawning on March 1. But it was decided, the same as last year, the fishery would remain open until the end of March to help gather more information. Read the rest here 07:55

For the love of cod, do it right this time: fishermen

cod sake articleFishermen along the south coast of the province fear lessons learned from years of being under cod fishing moratoriums might be forgotten.And if history repeats itself — as signs of cod stocks growing and talks of quotas increasing make the news — they say the next blow might be the last for the inshore fishermen and many rural communities that have a stake in groundfish stocks. But fishermen are frustrated they cannot land the total cod quota available because local processing companies are not buying the cod when the fishermen are able to fish it. Read the rest here 08:10