Tag Archives: Fish harvesters

Innovative ropeless fishing gear helps prevent whale entanglements

When fishing zones get closed down due to whale sightings, fish harvesters now have a new place to turn. Can Fish is a program set up by the Canadian Wildlife Federation to allow fishers to test out and use groundbreaking ropeless technology for free. The North Atlantic right whale is one of many marine species being impacted by the changing ocean temperatures in a warming world. The whales have been swimming northward moving from the Bay of Fundy to the Gulf of St. Lawrence,,, The Canadian Wildlife federation is trying to lessen this risk by popularizing the use of ropeless fishing gear through its newly introduced Can Fish program. At a warehouse in Halifax, Nova Scotia, fish harvesters can show up and borrow innovative ropeless fishing gear for free. The catch? These fishers need to provide data collected as they use the innovative technology in order to help build future designs of the equipment. Video, photos, >click to read< 17:30

Harvesters Warn of ‘Dire Effects’ as Minister Aims to Protect Fish Stocks from Climate Disruption

A recent appearance by Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray at an industry annual meeting has set off a sea squall of controversy, with harvesters and unions warning of the “dire social and economic effects” of federal catch limits and Murray stressing her interest in keeping fish stocks sustainable in an era of climate disruption. The unions representing fish harvesters on Canada’s east and west coasts claim her remarks to the annual general meeting of the Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters Federation (CIFHF) reflected a “singular focus on ocean conservation” at the cost of workers whose livelihoods rely on the fishery industry. >click to read< 15:38

Here’s how to get a piece of $62.5 million in fish processors’ Coronavirus aid

It’s been two months since the federal government rolled out a $62.5-million aid package to support seafood processors affected by Coronavirus, and a $469 million program to aid fish harvesters. So far no one has seen a cent of funding from either package. Today, June 16, seafood processing companies are a little closer. Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, announced details of how the $62.5 million from the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund (CSSF) will be divvied up across Canada, and how to apply. Of the $62.5 million, Atlantic Canada gets the lions’ share — $38.1 million.  Seafood processors in Quebec and Western Canada will also get a share of CSSF. >click to read< 14:48

Coronavirus: A fisherman’s daughter’s perspective

I am a fisherman’s daughter who is very aware of the beauty and the dangers of the ocean. Fishing isn’t for everyone — it is a physical, dangerous, high-risk profession in which generations of fishers have gone out on the water and, all too often, not come home. The fishery is one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s many highly dependent resource sectors employing thousands of people directly and indirectly. This year the obstacles facing this sector are beyond what any industry should have to deal with on their own. Since mid-March, fish harvesters were deeply concerned about the potential impact of COVID-19. Safety was and continues to be top priority as it is impossible to social distance while working in a fishing boat. Meagan Careen, St. Bride’s>click to read< 17:12

Protesting fish harvesters shout ‘We got no union!’

A protest involving 100 fish harvesters was heading Tuesday to Confederation Building after police urged demonstrators to disperse from the St. John’s headquarters of the Fish, Food & Allied Workers union. Tuesday’s protest is the second in the last several days in which harvesters demanded action on several issues, including crab prices, trip limits and safety concerns related to COVID-19.,, While protestors spilled out onto the street to space themselves out, many in the group said they were staying put to drive home their points. Ronnie Bidgood, a Petty Harbour harvester, he and others were standing up for their livelihoods and wouldn’t be leaving. >click to read< 18:12

West Coast fishery appeals for aid but federal fisheries minister is missing in action

Commercial fishermen in B.C. are sending out an SOS following last year’s disastrous salmon season that has already sunk some boat owners. The union representing commercial fishermen says years of Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) “mismanagement” pushed some commercial fishermen to the brink, and 2019 pushed them over. “Hundreds of fish harvesters are facing financial ruin after decades of fisheries regulation mismanagement,” said Joy Thorkelson, president of the United Fishermen and Allied Workers’ Union. >click to read< 09:19

Proposed Fisheries Regulation Amendments Target Fish Processors & Buyers

The Fall 2019 re-election of the Liberal government means the proposed amendments to federal fisheries regulations remain a concern for industry participants.,, However, the government has, to date, not implemented the amendments. The proposed amendments target arrangements that transfer license rights and privileges from license holders to third parties. In the Statement, the Minister notes the perceived narrowness of the definition of “Controlling Agreement”,, McInnes Cooper has prepared this document for information only,, >click to read< 12:27

LETTER: Fish harvesters, plantworkers are stronger together

This letter is a response to Ryan Cleary’s letter “Single union can’t represent all sides of fishery” >click here<. Uniting workers in the fishing industry through a single union has delivered significant benefits to both fish harvesters and plant workers in the 50-year history of FFAW-Unifor and its predecessor unions. The only groups who do not support strong unions are the fishing companies we negotiate with, and Ryan Cleary and his group FISH-NL. by Keith Sullivan >click to read< 13:01

Crab pricing commentary a ‘confused and conspiratorial mess’

This letter is in response to that of Derek Butler, published on June 13 (“GUEST COLUMN: FFAW wants things their way on pricing, not ‘transparency.’”) The issue he attempts to address is very important, however, his argument is a confused and conspiratorial mess and delivered in a tone that would make any merchant smile in his grave. It is telling that Butler felt the need to mention the circumstances surrounding how fish harvester collective bargaining rights were enshrined in legislation. The Fishing Industry Collective Bargaining Act exists to protect the collective bargaining rights of harvesters,,, By Keith Sullivan >Click to read<11:22

Little Port Harmon fish harvesters hoping for easterly winds

Renny Hickey and Dion Bennett, two fish harvesters out of Little Port Harmon in Stephenville, are wishing for strong easterly winds. That’s because St. George’s Bay is blocked up with the most ice that Hickey says he’s seen there in about 25 years, especially this late. Hickey said he learned Wednesday the crab season is opening this coming Monday and he’s waiting to go but can’t because of the ice in the bay. If the wind from the right direction doesn’t come up before that time, there’s no getting out.Then there’s the lobster season, tentatively set to open on April 18, and he certainly hopes the ice goes out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence before then. >click to read<09:39

photo, the telegram

Fish harvesters, plants workers hold demonstration in St. John’s – ‘Put the crab back on the table,’ fishermen chant at rally

Fish, Food and Allied Workers’—Unifor members held a demonstration today at the Delta Hotel in St. John’s followed by a march through part of the downtown. Fish harvesters, plant workers and citizens attended united, the union says, in their concern for the future of the province’s fisheries. A news release stated that around the province, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) shuts out fish harvesters from science processes and continues to make fisheries management decisions without any meaningful consultation with inshore harvesters. >click to read<13:14

‘Put the crab back on the table,’ frustrated fishermen chant at rally – >click to read<

Fishing industry says no to net pen finfish

A group of fish harvesters and seafood industry entities is urging Congress to oppose attempts to legitimize open net pen finfish aquaculture, as proposed in fish farming legislation introduced in late September. The target of their Dec. 4 letter to Congress is the Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture Act, or AQUAA Act, introduced in September by Representatives Steven Palazzo, R-Miss, and Collin Peterson, D-MN. The House bill is a companion piece to legislation of the same name filed earlier in the year by Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., to give the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration regulatory authority over fish farming in federal waters. >click to read<13:53

N.L. crab fishers taken aback by DFO’s latest details on crab data

Alfred Fitzpatrick says it seems the opinions of fish harvesters aren’t carrying much weight with the science branch of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) as of late. “We always thought we had a pretty good relationship with DFO Science – when it come to crab anyways, cod is another story,” said the Garnish-based fishermen, who represents harvesters from the Burin Peninsula in crab fishing areas 10 and 11 on the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) union’s inshore council. “It seems like now it’s changing. It’s not a good working relationship, not as good anyway, I’ll say.” >click to read<16:10

Russell Wangersky: Fish harvesters have the most to lose

The whole issue is in the hands of the Labour Relations Board right now, so this column is unlikely to sway any votes — and that’s fine. Because, really, it’s fight for those involved. (And just for clarity’s sake, I’ve known Lana Payne, with the FFAW’s parent union, Unifor, since we worked together at The Sunday Express in the late 1980s. I’ve known FISH-NL’s Ryan Cleary since 1997, when he worked at The Telegram, and we get along, on and off.) I understand why the fish harvesters might want to leave the FFAW. The union, representing harvesters and those who work in the processing sector, is juggling a variety of interests, from processing workers to inshore fish harvesters to offshore trawler workers. And that does create problems. Read the op-ed here 09:10

FISH-NL releases details of certification application — 2,372 harvesters sign membership cards, well over 50 per cent required 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is today releasing details of its certification application filed with the Labour Relations Board on Dec. 30th, including the total number of fish harvesters signed on.  “A total of 2,372 harvesters from more than 300 Newfoundland and Labrador communities signed FISH-NL cards over our two-month membership drive,” says Ryan Cleary, president of FISH-NL. “From all indications that number represents well over 50 per cent of all inshore fish harvesters.” Read the Press release, click here 08:04

Upstart fishing union says more than 2,300 fish harvesters have joined   Click here 08:56

FISH-NL presents certification application to Labour Relations Board

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH NL) presented an application this morning to the Labour Relations Board requesting that the organization be certified as the new bargaining agent for inshore fish harvesters. The application includes membership cards signed by thousands of harvesters from more than 300 communities around the province. “We feel we have the support of more than 50 per cent of all inshore harvesters — we certainly had the support of more than 80 per cent of all harvesters we encountered,” said Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “What we’re attempting has been described — not as a raid of another union — but as a full fledged revolt.” Over the coming days and weeks, the Labour Relations Board will review FISH-NL’s application and verify the membership cards. The Board will determine whether FISH-NL has the support of at least 40 per cent of fish harvesters, which would trigger a secret ballot vote by the Labour Relations Board. That vote will ultimately decide which union will represent fish harvesters. 10:28

Fogo Island fish harvesters trained to deploy oil boom

glen-best-fogo-islandA group of fish harvesters on Fogo Island is now trained to deploy an oil containment boom if a spill were to happen in local fishing areas. The harvesters practiced deploying and recovering a containment boom by the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland. “A lot of fisherman are not big on academics and courses,” said Glen Best, a local fisherman. “But this is something they can enjoy because it’s hands on, applies to them and they can use it. It can be a real benefit.” Best and the other fish harvesters started the day with a classroom session and wrapped up on the water in Seldom harbour, deploying the orange boom and its yellow anchors beside a wharf. “We have a long coastline, lots of isolated, rural communities and resources are not always available for a spill.” “It’s in our best interest to be trained and have this equipment and to be able to take care of the problem when it arises,” said Best.  Read the story here 11:12

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

Fishermen tired of getting ‘pushed around’ – Want to be allowed to sell cod to buyers outside the province

“Every year on Feb. 28, the cod season ends. Right now it’s extended for a month to drag cod, so they (large companies) are out there fishing it during the spawning season and we don’t hear any uproar from the union, from scientists or the provincial government,” Leonard said. Collett added that the way things are going, history is repeating itself as the same mistakes are occurring as in pre-moratorium days. Read more here  21:42