Tag Archives: FISH-NL

FFAW-Unifor files Supreme Court application in ‘desperate’ attempt to block vote on union representation: FISH-NL

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) describes the latest legal maneuvers by the FFAW-Unifor to try and derail a vote by inshore harvesters on their union representation as an “act of desperation.” “The FFAW-Unifor executive knows they’ll lose a vote, and are desperate to cling to power,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “They’re using the courts and legal costs to try and quash the FISH-NL movement, but we’re past the point of no return — a vote must happen before inshore harvesters and the fishery can move forward.”>click to read< 13:42

FISH-NL questions whether Ottawa purposely is out to eliminate inshore fishery and outports along with it

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says Ottawa’s decision to award a new Arctic surf clam licence to East Coast aboriginal groups amounts to Indigenous reconciliation on the backs of inshore harvesters and rural communities.,, “Our inshore harvesters and rural communities should be at the head of the line for any new quotas,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Our harvesters are starving for fish, and the feds are taking from the few healthy stocks we have left, and carving them up for groups with no connection to the resource. That’s just wrong.” >click to read< 12:07

Only room for one fleet; FISH-NL advises Ottawa to reserve northern shrimp in SFA 6 for the inshore

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling for an immediate halt to the fishing of northern shrimp by factory-freezer trawlers in waters off Newfoundland’s northeast coast and southern Labrador until stocks rebound. In light of more scientific bad news today on the state of northern shrimp in that area, which is known as Shrimp Fishing Area (SFA) 6, FISH-NL calls on the federal government to reserve the limited quota solely for the inshore fleet, and ban fishing altogether when shrimp are spawning. Further, FISH-NL requests that Ottawa assign a quota of northern shrimp to the inshore fleet further north off Labrador in SFA 5. >click to read<17:43

FISH-NL: DFO outreach meetings prove FFAW-Unifor no longer voice of inshore harvesters

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the most common issue during a recent series of outreach meetings held around the province by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans is that the FFAW-Unifor is no longer the voice of inshore harvesters. “That sentiment was expressed at every single meeting — without exception — and with union representatives front and centre in the room,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The FFAW-Unifor no longer speaks for most harvesters, and that message should be loud, clear, and obvious to the entire fishing industry, including federal Minister Dominic LeBlanc.” >click to read< 09:27

FISH-NL condemns DFO’s discriminatory restriction to latest scientific information on commercial fish stocks

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) condemns a move by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans this year to limit access to the release of the latest scientific information on the status of key commercial fish stocks, and calls for a more fair and open process. “The raw scientific data on the status of commercial stocks such as shrimp, crab, caplin and groundfish should be available for all hands to absorb at one time,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “This is a huge leap backwards for transparency. >click to read< 19:55

FFAW, FISH-NL at odds over what Fisheries Act amendments will mean for N.L.’s inshore fishery

The federal Liberal Government said Tuesday it is restoring protections for the fishing industry that were taken away by the former Conservative government in 2012. And, in making the announcement, Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc said there is more good news for the country’s fishing industry. The minister announced $284.2 million to support the restoration of protections to fish and fish habitats and to incorporate new modern safeguards in the industry. >click to read< 09:32

FISH-NL – Ottawa’s failure to include adjacency principle in Fisheries Act amendments ‘grave injustice’

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says Ottawa’s failure to include the principles of adjacency and historical attachment in the reformed Fisheries Act — to ensure inshore harvesters have priority access to fish off their shores — is a grave injustice. “It’s one thing for the Trudeau government to move to protect the independent commercial fishery, but that’s useless unless harvesters have fish to catch,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click to read< 15:15

FISH-NL issues warning to DFO on changes to harvester registration in Atlantic Canada; NL system not working

“The Professional Fish Harvester Certification Board (PFHCB) is not working here in terms of a conflict of interest with the FFAW-Unifor, and it’s not working for people attempting to enter the fishery,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “DFO should not give the PFHCB any more authority than it already has, review its relationship with the FFAW-Unifor for conflict of interest, and insist that the Board modernize its qualifying criteria.” DFO is looking for feedback on proposed changes to the requirements for fish harvester registration in Atlantic Canada. The deadline for feedback is Wednesday, Jan. 31st. >click here to read<14:54

Bonavista area fishers meet DFO

Dennis Miller of Burgoyne’s Cove is a typical inshore fisherman. Fishing up to 50 miles from shore in a 39-ft 11-inch boat, he makes his living from groundfish, capelin, herring, mackerel, lobster and snow crab.,, He wonders if the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will give smaller boats, like his, access to turbot by opening up fishing zones closer to shore. He was one of about 30 fishers who showed up for the meeting.,, With FISH-NL and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) in the same room, there was bound to be an argument. >click here to read< 14:24 

FISH-NL calls on Federation of Labour to clarify FFAW’s fate

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on the province’s Federation of Labour to clarify whether the FFAW can remain a member following the decision by Unifor, its national affiliate, to leave the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). “Inshore harvesters are demanding to know the lay of the land with the local labour movement,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click here to read<11:06 

FISH-NL – Solidarity isn’t forever with FFAW/Unifor so much as when it suits them

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says Unifor’s reasoning for its break from the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) is nothing short of ironic and hypocritical. “Unifor, the largest private-sector union in Canada, is splitting from the CLC over a disagreement about the rights of workers to choose what union should represent them, while one of its affiliate unions, the FFAW, has blocked the province’s inshore harvesters for 13 months from voting on their union fate,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click here to read< 14:41

FISH-NL commends Ottawa on new lifeboat stations, but search-and-rescue helicopters still work banker’s hours

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says Ottawa’s commitment to new lifeboat stations in this province is commendable, but it’s not the No. 1 search-and-rescue issue facing mariners “The Canadian military’s Gander-based, search-and-rescue Cormorant helicopters are the fastest form of rescue and they still operate on banker’s hours,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “A lifeboat won’t cut it when the survival time in the North Atlantic — in the absence of a survival suit — is measured in minutes.” click to read the press release 18:28

FISH-NL questions quiet reopening of Canadian ports to banned Faroese and Greenland trawlers

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on Ottawa to explain its decision almost a year ago to quietly reopen Canadian ports to trawlers from the Faroe Islands and Greenland that had been banned for overfishing northern shrimp. “Why exactly was the ban lifted, and why didn’t the federal government make the news public when the decision was made?” questions Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. click here to read the press release 11:48

When Rome was burning, Nero played his violin – Current Fisheries Policy Damaging Industry

Just a little over a year ago, the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour came out swinging against FISH-NL. The head of the federation of labour, Mary Shortall, said FISH-NL was raiding one of its member unions and the federation was completely against it. Shortall said all of the federation’s member unions were standing in solidarity with the FFAW-Unifor. The fact that FISH-NL was formed because a significant number of the FFAW-Unifor’s fish harvester membership was totally unsatisfied with the FFAW-Unifor, was totally ignored by the federation of labour. click here to read the story 09:19

Department of Fisheries and Oceans installs security office, excavates hill where hunger strike held last spring

The hill is alive with the sound of an excavator at the start of the road leading to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) headquarters in St. John’s where Twillingate fisherman Richard Gillett held an 11-day hunger strike in April. The site where Gillett pitched his tent is all mud now. According to a statement from DFO, the excavation and the security office are part of new security and safety protocols being implemented at the facility.,, Gillett’s hunger strike started on April 13 and his supporters caused a bit of disruption at times for people trying to enter and leave the facility. But that wasn’t the only protest action by fishermen in the spring that caused some concern for DFO officials. click here to read the story 21:08

FFAW payback: FISH-NL supporters say union pressured DFO to close cod fishery

Well-know Grand Bank fisherman Wayne Meade accuses the FFAW-Unifor of being behind a recent federal Fisheries and Oceans decision to shut down the cod fishery in a small area of Fortune Bay because most inshore harvesters who were fishing there are FISH-NL supporters. “This was not a DFO decision because DFO doesn’t run the fishery, and hasn’t since the moratorium — the FFAW calls the shots,” says Meade, who’s publicly endorsed FISH-NL since it was organized in the fall of 2016. “Eighty to 90 per cent of the fishermen who were fishing that cod support FISH-NL, and it’s the FFAW getting back at us.” click here to read the press release 10:48

Fish-NL survey nets only two of three responses from by-election candidates; Liberal frontrunner refuses to make specific commitments

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) reports that two of three candidates from the mainstream political parties in the upcoming federal byelection in Bonavista-Burin-Trinity have responded to a survey on major fishery issues in the riding. Liberal candidate Churence Rogers and Conservative runner Mike Windsor issued responses, while New Democrat Tyler Downey failed to do so. “The fishery is critical to the future of Bonavista-Burin-Trinity, and the responses from Mr. Rogers and Mr. Windsor will give inshore fish harvesters, and the rural communities where they live, an indication of where the politicians and parties stand,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. click here to read the story 14:32

Labour Board removes investigator assigned to FISH-NL’s certification application; entire process ‘a nightmare’

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is deeply concerned that the investigator with the province’s Labour Relations Board assigned to its application for certification has been removed from the file almost a year after taking it on. “The process of reviewing our application has already taken far too long, and now it will most definitely take even longer,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “This entire situation is a nightmare.” Read the official response from the Labour Board  click here to read the story,08:56

FISH-NL calls on candidates in federal by-election to take a stand on fishery issues. All responses will be made public.

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on candidates in the upcoming federal byelection of Bonavista-Burin-Trinity to spell out where they stand on five major fishery issues in the riding: Do you agree with the federal government’s decision to open the south coast (fishing zone 3Ps) cod fishery to offshore draggers? Do you agree the offshore sector should be removed from the 3Ps cod fishery when the quota falls below 10,000 tonnes? Do you agree with the decision of the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans,,, click here to read the press release 15:21

FISH-NL says DFO has blood on its hands; department policy contributed to deaths of four Shea Heights fishermen in 2016 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says a report by the Transportation Safety Board into the death of four fishermen off Cape Spear in September 2016 confirms the tragedy was the result of Department of Fisheries and Oceans policy. “I hope senior management at DFO go home this evening and take a good long look at themselves in the mirror, and then make sure to give their hands a good scrub because there’s blood on them,” says Jason Sullivan, Captain of FISH-NL’s under 40-foot fleet. “People are dying and no one’s held accountable.” click here to read the press release 14:04

FISH-NL condemns Ottawa’s decision to reopen south coast cod fishery to offshore factory-freezer trawlers 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Nov. 10th, 2017 The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans is out to destroy the inshore fishery off Newfoundland’s south coast with its decision Friday to reopen the cod fishery to offshore factory-freezer trawlers. “DFO has given the offshore draggers permission to clean up the last of the south coast cod,” says Ryan Cleary, President of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL). click here to read the press release 19:30

FISH-NL applauds Grand Bank for standing up to FFAW-Unifor

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) applauds Grand Bank Mayor Rex Matthews for calling out the FFAW-Unifor for being an “arm of the federal government.” “It’s nice to hear someone other than FISH-NL say the FFAW-Unifor is in Ottawa’s pocket,” said Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The FFAW-Unifor hasn’t said a word against Ottawa’s plan to expropriate a huge chunk of the Arctic surf clam quota — which fuels the Grand Bank plant — the same way the union didn’t open its mouth when the feds gave away a piece of the future redfish quota in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.” click here to read the press release 07:55

‘We were blindsided’: Grand Bank mayor anticipating job losses in wake of major arctic surf clam changesclick here to read the story 

FISH-NL and FFAW still at odds over harvester numbers

There is still no official list, no final count of Newfoundland and Labrador inshore fish harvesters for the purposes of determining if there will be a vote on a breakaway union. Leaders with the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) union have disputed who has a better total count on harvesters — one truly representative of inshore industry participation. The numbers being floated are very different, by thousands of individuals. click here to read the story 10:37

Thousands fewer inshore harvesters than FFAW-Unifor claimed; FISH-NL receives union support from across Canada

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is pleased with the Labour Relations Board’s release of what officials describe as an “accurate and reliable” list of the province’s inshore harvesters. “It’s been almost 10 months since FISH-NL submitted our application for certification so a list of inshore harvesters from the board is a huge and welcome step forward,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. Obtained from various “sources,” the labour board’s list includes the names of 6,371 inshore harvesters — almost 4,000 fewer than the 10,200 active, dues-paying members that the FFAW-Unifor has claimed to represent. click here to read the press release 11:06

FFAW Statement Regarding FISH-NL and Labour Relations Boardclick here to read the statement

Inshore harvesters, including a member of FFAW’s inshore council dispute snow crab science

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) questions why the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans would report poor scientific signs of snow crab when it’s not the full picture of the state of the resource. The results of crab surveys carried out by inshore harvesters won’t be available until December. “The science is only half of the story — inshore harvesters have the other half,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “This shows the same old disconnect exists between DFO science and what harvesters are reporting on the water. Why does DFO report doom and gloom when all the information is not on the table?” click here to read the press release 09:19

FISH-NL makes formal request for Prime Minister to reopen province’s Terms of Union

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has formally asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reopen the province’s Terms of Union with regards to fisheries management “The Terms of Union must be revisited so that the principles of adjacency and historical attachment are made constitutional corner stones,” Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL, wrote in a Sept. 28th letter to the Prime Minister. “No one minister or government should have such absolute control over Newfoundland and Labrador’s fishery fortunes.” Most commercial stocks off Newfoundland and Labrador are at or near critical levels, with inshore harvesters and their enterprises starving for fish. click here to read the press release 22:00

FISH-NL president Ryan Cleary has written a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking for the Terms of Union to be re-opened so that inshore harvesters get a fair shake. click here to read the story 10/3/17 11:13

FISH-NL – Northern Cod – “Why is DFO setting us up to fail?”

Earlier this year, DFO gave harvesters two options for fishing northern cod off Newfoundland’s east coast and Labrador for 2017: 1) fish the entire season at the weekly limit; or 2) fish only from Sept. 17th-Nov. 30th at double the weekly limit. Harvesters who choose option one, and have one cod IQ (individual quota), can fish with six gill nets. Harvesters who choose option 2, and who have three combined IQs (and many harvesters do), are essentially fishing six times the weekly limit, but are still limited to six gill nets. click here to read the press release 14:11

FISH-NL says inshore harvesters charged $1,000 by their own union for tuna tags, more than fish is worth 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is questioning why the FFAW-Unifor is charging inshore harvesters $1,000 for a bluefin tuna tag when fishermen can’t get much more than that from the sale of a fish. “This seems to be yet another FFAW-Unifor money grab,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The real question here is why the union is charging its members anything at all? The FFAW is supposed to be in the business of helping harvesters, not profiting from them.” click here to read the press release 16:49

FISH-NL says proposed Liberal tax changes will hurt inshore harvesters when they sell out; drive up the cost of licences 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, Sept. 25th, 2017 The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says proposed federal tax changes will negatively impact many inshore harvesters when they sell out. “Harvesters do not have pension plans so the money from the sale of their licence is their retirement plan,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The changes to capital gains will mean many inshore harvesters will have less to live on in their retirement years, which may actually drive up the cost of fishing licences.” click here to read the story 09:27

Cox’s cove fisherman trucks 2,619 pounds of cod fillet to Quebec and sells out in less than an hour , boosting argument for outside buyers

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the actions of a Cox’s Cove fisherman this week in trucking cod fillet to Quebec and selling it for a profit boosts the argument for the province to allow in outside buyers. “Inshore harvesters aren’t making the money they should be making because free enterprise doesn’t exist for them,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Canadians are willing to pay good money for our cod, better money than local processors are paying, and harvesters are missing out. That must end.” Fisherman Rick Crane from Cox’s Cove on Newfoundland’s west coast trucked 2,619 pounds of frozen cod fillet across the Gulf of St. Lawrence to a Quebec community, where the fish sold out on Tuesday evening in less than an hour. click here to read the press release 09:51