Tag Archives: FISH-NL

FISH-NL: C-NLOPB ‘waking up’ to concerns over impact of offshore seismic activity

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is frustrated the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board isn’t prepared to suspend offshore seismic work, but encouraged the offshore oil and gas regulator is waking up to concerns. “Ottawa takes a precautionary approach to fisheries management — which means being cautious when science is uncertain — but there’s nothing precautionary about allowing seismic to continue until the potential risks are understood. ,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The hypocrisy doesn’t escape inshore harvesters.”  >click to read<20:06

Central harvesters dig in on state of groundfish

Given the plentiful signs and successful catch rates, Herring Neck harvester Eldred Woodford says the reduction in last year’s cod quota was unnecessary. “The fish was never so thick around here, not in my 40 years. I don’t say John Cabot seen it,” Woodford said. “You go back to the 1980s when fishermen were crying out to DFO that there’s no fish, nobody listened. Now we’re telling them there’s lots of fish and still nobody listens.” ,,, Less than a dozen fishermen attended, as well as two representatives from Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) and FISH-NL president Ryan Cleary.>click to read<15:20

FISH-NL: Escalating war between fish processors/buyers exposes fact inshore harvesters have been ‘royally screwed’ on price of fish

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the existing system of setting fish prices in the province is broken beyond repair, and must be scuttled. “What’s absolutely clear from the escalating fight between processors and buyers is that inshore harvesters have been getting royally screwed on the price of fish,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. On Jan. 2, the Seafood Processors of Newfoundland and Labrador (SPONL) — representing 15 small, mostly lobster processors/buyers with a combined export value of roughly $40 million — lodged a complaint against Royal Greenland with the federal Competition Bureau, and asked for an intervention. >click to read<22:02

FISH-NL questions whether complaints against Royal Greenland smokescreen to cover the fact local processors underpaying fishermen

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) questions whether the Dwight Ball government supports inshore harvesters being paid top dollar for their fish. “Local processors and buyers have been screaming bloody murder because Royal Greenland is paying harvesters more for their product — forcing them to increase their prices,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “That tells us the minimum negotiated price is too low, and reinforces our stand that the province should open the door to outside buyers.” “It’s time for the provincial government and the FFAW-Unifor to say which side they’re on — with inshore harvesters and free enterprise, or against them.” >click to read< 14:54

FISH-NL calls for resurrection of arm’s-length body to bridge massive divide between science and inshore harvesters

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on Ottawa to resurrect the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (FRCC) to bridge the enormous divide between fishermen and scientists over the state of fish stocks — northern cod in particular. “DFO scientists and inshore harvesters are once again complete strangers, just like in the early 1990s when the commercial fisheries failed,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click to read<13:38

FFAW-Unifor stoops to new low; committee members forced to sign ‘pledge of allegiance’

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) charges the FFAW-Unifor with stooping to a new low in forcing inshore harvesters to sign a pledge of allegiance to serve on area committees, potentially blocking thousands of dues-payers from taking part. “So much for democracy — the labour situation in the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery is as bad as any communist regime ever was,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click to read<14:12

BIG WIN! Supreme Court dismisses FFAW-Unifor appeal of FISH-NL’s union status; ordered to pay legal costs

The province’s Supreme Court has dismissed an FFAW-Unifor appeal of FISH-NL’s status as a properly constituted union, and ordered the FFAW to pay court costs. “The FFAW has used every legal maneuver in the book to try and quash the FISH-NL movement and drown their own members in legal fees, but the highest court in the land has seen through it,” says Ryan Cleary, President of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador. “Coming the day before FISH-NL’s convention in Gander, the decision is a huge boost.” >click to read<16:55

Which Side Are You On? FISH-NL launches inaugural “netcast” leading up to Thursday’s Gander convention

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has released its inaugural podcast episode, featuring an overview of the “cesspool of corruption” that is today’s fishery, and a local rewrite of the iconic labour song — Which Side Are You On? Which Side Are You On was written in 1931 by Florence Reece, the wife of a Kentucky miner, during a bitter strike. >click to read, listen to podcast<13:39

FISH-NL renews call for halt to seismic testing – ‘If plankton isn’t protected you might as well say goodbye to the fish’

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is once again calling on the Canada/Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) to suspend offshore seismic work in light of new research that reveals plankton productivity has plunged. The research by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) doesn’t link the dramatic and persistent drop in plankton to seismic activity, but other research has found the intense acoustic signals may damage the critical elements of the food chain. “It’s highly coincidental that as seismic activity ramped up plankton productivity plunged,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Seismic activity may be necessary for offshore oil and gas development, but it must not come at the expense of our wild fisheries and marine ecosystem — cutting off our nose to spite our face.” >click to read<10:43

FISH-NL’S TOP 25 QUOTES OF 2018

There are twenty five good ones, but this one by John Gillett is one of my favorites. NUMBER 9 “It’s time to manage the predators of our fish stocks rather than keep regulating our fish harvesters out of existence.” — Twillingate fisherman John Gillett, June 18, 2018, in a letter to the editor of the St. John’s Telegram. >click to read<18:49

FISH-NL convention set for Jan. 24th in Gander; nominations open for 2018 Inshore Harvester of the Year

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has set Jan. 24th, 2019 as the date for its next convention and election of officers at Gander’s Albatross Hotel. As well, to coincide with the convention FISH-NL is announcing the first ever Inshore Harvester of the Year Award. “It’s full-steam ahead for FISH-NL,” says Ryan Cleary, President. “It’s our intention that 2019 will be the year of the inshore harvester, and they’ll finally get the right to choose their labour future.” Elections will be held for FISH-NL’s executive positions — >click to read<12:02

FISH-NL accuses FFAW of fake outrage and hypocrisy over new snow crab management strategy

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) held meetings earlier this week in St. John’s, Clarenville, and Gander to consult inshore harvesters on a proposed new management strategy for snow crab. The so-called Precautionary Approach includes stock status zones such as critical, cautious and healthy, as well as reference points and harvesters control rules. A huge contingent of FFAW-Unifor executive members slammed DFO at the public meetings for blindsiding inshore harvesters, accusing the department of bringing them into the discussion at a “late stage.” >click to read<

FISH-NL plans second certification application for 2019, but only if harvesters step up to the plate

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) announced plans today to move forward with a second application for certification in 2019, but only if inshore harvesters agree to pay dues. “FISH-NL can’t do this for harvesters, we can only do it with harvesters,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The membership dues will be the deciding factor in the future of FISH-NL.” >click to read<13:39

FISH-NL accuses FFAW of conflict of interest in accepting funds from offshore oil companies/industry regulator

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) questions the ability of the FFAW-Unifor to hold the offshore oil industry to account for its impact on the fishery when the industry has been funding the union for years. “The conflict of interest is blatant between the FFAW and oil companies — and the conflict even extends to the C-NLOPB, the industry regulator,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click to read<17:41

FISH-NL: Northern cod fall fishery a circus, breeding unrest and contempt between fishermen and fleets

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) calls FFAW/Unifor-orchestrated changes to this fall’s northern cod stewardship fishery a circus, and the most divisive to date.
“Make no mistake, the changes to the 2018 management plan came from the FFAW, and they’re breeding unrest and contempt between fishermen and fleets,” says Jason Sullivan, Captain of FISH-Nl’s under 40-foot fleet. The 2018 management plan for the northern cod stewardship fishery off eastern Newfoundland and Labrador (fishing zones 2J,3KL) set the quota at 9,500 tones, and gave inshore harvesters two options >click to read<13:07

The labour lie: FISH-NL reacts to Labour Board decision dismissing its application for certification

After 500-plus years of fishing history, the Newfoundland and Labrador government — through its Labour Relations Board — has finally defined an inshore fisherman. The definition doesn’t involve trips to sea nor fish landed. From the Board’s perspective, that’s irrelevant. The definition also doesn’t factor in whether a person lives in Newfoundland or Labrador, has a full-time job outside the fishery, or has ever stepped aboard a boat. To be considered a fisherman/woman in the eyes of the Board, the only criteria is that a person must have paid dues to the union — the FFAW-Unifor. >click to read<10:41

Moving Forward – FISH-NL Vows to keep fighting despite certification rejection

The president of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters says he’s not discouraged by the provincial labour relations board’s rejection of union certification for the group. FISH-NL applied for certification nearly two years ago, an application that was quashed Friday by the board, which said the group didn’t have “adequate support to warrant a vote.”President Ryan Cleary told CBC’s St. John’s Morning Show on Monday that the application’s dismissal doesn’t solve the problems that prompted him to start the group in the first place, such as the established Fish Food and Allied Workers Union representing both fishermen and fish plant workers, which he says is a conflict of interest. >click to read<08:56

UPDATED: Labour relations board dismisses FISH-NL certification application

The Labour Relations Board on Friday dismissed FISH-NL’s certification application. Federation of Independent Seafood Harvesters (FISH-NL) president Ryan Cleary said he’s “absolutely shocked” by the decision. In a news release, FFAW-Unifor wrote they are “pleased” with the decision by the board, which “confirmed FFAW-Unifor’s longstanding assertion that there are nearly 10,000 inshore fish harvesters in our province, which clearly shows that FISH-NL did not have adequate support to warrant a vote.” Both FISH-NL and FFAW-Unifor appear to agree on one point – that the process over the past couple of years has resulted in unrest within the inshore fishery. >click to read<08:08

FISH-NL Statement Regarding Labour Relations Board decision to dismiss its application for certification.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, Sept. 28th, 2018 The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is in the process or reviewing a decision by the province’s Labour Relations Board to dismiss its application for certification. “FISH-NL will have more to say on the decision — including whether an appeal will be filed — in the coming days,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “But if the FFAW-Unifor or or anyone else involved in the province’s fishing industry believes for one second this decision will bring an end to growing labour unrest within the inshore fishery, they’re living in la la labour land.” 16:37

FISH-NL calls on DFO to take direct control of scientific quota of redfish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

“The FFAW-Unifor should not be controlling science quotas,” says Boyd Lavers, an inshore harvester from Port Saunders on the Great Northern Peninsula, and Captain of FISH-NL’s over 40-foot fleet. “The only fair way to deal with this experimental quota is for it to be handled directly by DFO, so the FFAW doesn’t get a chance to show favouritism as to who fishes the quota, or to take a cut from the sale of the fish.”,,, Further, harvesters have been told by the union they will have to sell the redfish to a plant of the FFAW’s choosing, and pay the union half the money from the sale of the fish. >click to read<18:35

FISH-NL calls on DFO to halt FFAW fishery for northern cod, leave fish for fishermen

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on Fisheries and Oceans to immediately cancel this year’s northern cod quality project, and leave the fish for struggling inshore harvesters to catch. “Inshore harvesters are fit to be tied that while the northern cod stewardship fishery is temporarily closed to them, cod is still being landed through the FFAW-Unifor’s cod quality fishery — which will reduce the overall amount of quota available to harvesters,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The cod quality projects are seen by most inshore harvesters as yet another FFAW money-making scheme,” he added. “When it comes to quality and inshore harvesters getting the most money for their fish, the No. 1 action that can be taken is to grade the fish at the wharf — not the plant.”>click to read<12:49

FISH-NL calls on DFO to continue direct consultations with inshore harvesters

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans to once again hold direct consultations with inshore harvesters. “DFO is to be commended for holding outreach meetings last winter for the first time in a generation,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL, “but the precedent has been set, and the department must hold them every year to keep its finger on the pulse of inshore harvesters.” DFO held a series of 20 outreach meetings around the province in the fall/early winter of 2017/2018 to hear directly from harvesters. The consultations were called following years of complaints that the FFAW-Unifor is no longer the voice of harvesters, which, as it turned out, was the most common theme at the outreach meetings. >click to read<14:26

FISH-NL – Labour Relations Board agrees to consider arguments for proceeding with immediate vote

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is encouraged that the province’s Labour Relations Board has agreed to consider its arguments to proceed with an immediate vote for inshore harvesters to decide their union fate. “We are confident harvesters will get the vote they’ve been waiting almost 21 months for once the Board considers all evidence,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “A vote is the only way to determine the true wishes of inshore harvesters.” >click to read<12:52

More Waiting – Labour board to decide number of full-time inshore fish harvesters

After 500 years of fishing history you’d probably think it would be easy enough in Newfoundland and Labrador to determine who is and who is not a true, full-time fisherman. Yet, with so many people over the years dipping into the fishery for full-time, part-time or one-time earnings — and with often blurred lines as to who makes up part of a fishing crew — it’s not that straightforward. And that became apparent during a hearing held by the province’s Labour Relations Board Monday in St. John’s regarding an application by FISH-NL for certification to represent the province’s commercial inshore fishermen — fishermen who are currently represented by FFAW-Unifor. >click to read<08:31

Today: FISH-NL appears before labour board as it attempts to be a certified union

The Federation of Independent Seafood Harvesters (FISH-NL) is appearing before the provincial labour relations board Monday, in a hearing to determine who should qualify as an inshore harvester. It’s part of FISH-NL’s push to become a certified union for inshore fishers in Newfoundland and Labrador. FISH-NL’s hearing will be part of determining exactly who is considered an inshore harvester, as FISH-NL and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) are in a dispute about who qualifies. >click to read<10:09

FISH-NL asks federal Auditor General to investigate sentinel cod fisheries

“Money from the sale of cod caught in the sentinel or test fisheries goes in the pockets of the FFAW-Unifor even though the program is supposedly fully financed directly by Fisheries and Oceans,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. In a letter Thursday to Auditor General Michael Ferguson, Cleary said there doesn’t appear to be any formal audit or reporting process in place to calculate the amount of money raised by the sale of cod caught through the sentinel program, or to determine how the money is spent. Further, even though money from the sale of cod is used to subsidize the sentinel fisheries, the program falls outside Section 10 of the federal Fisheries Act, which seems to be a clear violation of the legislation. >click to read<12:45

Access to justice denied; Labour Board refuses FISH-NL request to live-stream upcoming hearing

“While we’re urging inshore harvesters to attend the hearing in person, the reality is most will not be able to make it,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “For them, access to justice will be denied as a result of this decision.” Almost 20 months after FISH-NL submitted an application for certification to represent the province’s inshore harvesters — breaking them away from the FFAW-Unifor — and the Labour Relations Board has scheduled an Aug. 20th hearing. Earlier this month, David Goodland, FISH-NL’s lawyer, wrote the Labour Relations Board for permission to live-stream the hearing, and share the recording on FISH-NL’s Facebook page. “The request is made in order to ensure all parties affected by the outcome of the hearing have access to justice and in particular have reasonable access to this hearing,” Goodland wrote, adding if the request isn’t granted the “vast majority” of harvesters won’t be able to observe the hearing. >click to read<14:17

FISH-NL accuses NL NDP leader of applying double standards in labour relations

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) accuses provincial NDP leader Gerry Rogers of applying double standards in supporting locked out workers in Gander while turning her back on the province’s inshore fish harvesters. “While Gerry Rogers rallied today with workers at Gander’s D-J Composites, who’ve been locked out for 597 days, she’s turned her back on upwards of 3,000 inshore harvesters who’ve been waiting 583 days for the Labour Relations Board to grant them a vote to choose their union,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click to read<11:15

Hearing for FISH-NL Set for August

The president of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union says FISH-NL does not have the support to move ahead with its application to represent fish harvesters in the province. FISH-NL, led by Ryan Cleary, is looking for a ratification vote to represent inshore harvesters. FISH NL’s Ryan Cleary says the hearing will either lead to a vote or it won’t, but first he’s hoping all harvesters and their families will attend the presentations. The meeting is happening at the School for the Deaf on Topsail Road in St. John’s. Cleary says it’s finally happening 20 months after they submitted the application. >click to read<11:39

Mark the Date: August 20th, Labour Relations Board Hearing – FISH-NL hires province’s top labour lawyer

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) wishes to inform inshore harvesters and the public at large that Aug. 20th has been set as the date for a hearing before the province’s Labour Relations Board. As well, St. John’s lawyer David Goodland — one of the top labour lawyers in the province with a proven track record of holding the FFAW-Unifor to account — has been hired to represent FISH-NL. “Harvesters have needed the patience of a tonne of saints in waiting for the Labour Relations Board to deal with FISH-NL’s application for certification, but after 19 months we’re getting there,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “We’ll get the vote yet.” >click to read<17:21