Tag Archives: FISH-NL

FISH-NL – Letter to Labour Board requesting the Board proceed immediately with a vote of inshore harvesters

FISH-NL e-mailed the following letter Tuesday, Aug. 15th, to David Conway, the new chair of the NL Labour Relations Board, requesting the Board proceed immediately with a vote of inshore harvesters to decide which union they want to represent them.,, As President of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL), I’m officially calling on the province’s Labour Relations Board to proceed immediately with a vote of inshore harvesters to decide which union they want to represent them. Before outlining the specific reasoning behind that, I’d like to give a brief overview of the labour climate the province’s inshore fish harvesters find themselves in. As it stands, inshore harvesters are the most controlled labour group in the province, country, and possibly Western World. click here to read the letter 11:39

FFAW owes apology to family of dead fisherman for telling them they don’t qualify for death benefits when they do

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the FFAW-Unifor owes an apology to the family of a young fisherman who died tragically earlier this month for telling them they didn’t qualify for $30,000 in death benefits when they, in fact, qualify for at least half. Further, the question must be raised whether other families may have been denied death benefits based on misinformation from the union.,,, Calvin (Bud) Tobin, a 25-year-old fisherman from Southern Harbour, died Aug. 2nd in a car accident near Clarenville. Soon after, the family contacted the FFAW-Unifor about the union-administered $30,000 insurance policy, only to be told they didn’t qualify. click here to read the press release 16:05

Calvin Tobin’s family should get $15K from Sun Life, says FFAW didn’t know insurance plan – click here to read the story

FISH-NL reiterates call for province to lift ban on outside fish buyers

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is reiterating its call for the provincial government to lift all restrictions and allow out-of-province buyers into the provincial market place for all species. “The commercial fishery for northern cod reopened on Newfoundland’s northeast coast on Aug. 1st, but very few harvesters are at it because there are no buyers,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL.,, “Some fishermen are salting their cod with no idea of what they’ll eventually get for it — just like in my grandfather’s day,” says Richard Gillett. Vice-President of FISH-NL. “How far we’ve come.” click here to read the press release 16:11

FISH-NL: Canada’s fishery reputation was shot long before the death of 10 right whales

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc’s has some explaining to do regarding his statement that the recent death of right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence pose a threat to Canada’s reputation. “Is that the same fisheries reputation that boasts the 25-year anniversary of the ’92 northern cod moratorium, and the same reputation that has most commercial fish stocks today off the province’s shores at or near critical levels?” asks Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “What an insult to Newfoundland and Labrador and the management crisis that has tightened its grip on our fishery for 25 years. The minister may not know it, but the embarrassing state of the Grand Banks has tarnished Canada’s fisheries reputation for decades.” click here to read the press release 14:05

‘Unreasonable delay,’ – FISH-NL urges Labour Board  to call immediate vote for fishermen to choose their union 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Aug. 1st, 2017 The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on the province’s Labour Relations Board to conduct an immediate vote of inshore harvesters to decide which union they want to represent them. “It’s been seven months since FISH-NL presented our application for certification to the board with no end in sight,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The delay is unreasonable, given that time is of the essence.” On Dec. 30th, 2016, FISH-NL presented an application to the province’s Labour Relations Board requesting the new union be certified as the bargaining agent for inshore fish harvesters, currently represented by the FFAW-Unifor.,,, While FISH-NL and the FFAW-Unifor supplied information to the Labour Relations Board in response to the order, Derek Butler President of ASP, refused. click here to read the press release 07:56

FISH-NL: Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc missing boat on problems plaguing industry

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is outraged with an attack by the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans on the province’s inshore harvesters. “Dominic LeBlanc has said straight out he wants to devalue fishing licences when the only thing most inshore harvesters have to retire on is the sale of their license,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “It’s not like there’s an FFAW pension plan.” “LeBlanc also appears out to end the ability of inshore harvesters to pass on licences to their children, a tradition that’s gone on for hundreds of years and critical to the future or the inshore fishery.” click here to read the press release 13:10

Police lay charge stemming from April protest at DFO headquarters; FISH-NL says authorities setting bad precedent 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is shocked to learn a charge has been laid against an inshore harvester from La Scie involved in an April demonstration at the St. John’s headquarters of the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. “Inshore harvesters have been driven to the point of protest by direct threats to their livelihoods,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “They should not be charged, especially after police said they wouldn’t be.” “But like the promise made by federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc that he would meet with hunger striker Richard Gillett, words these days appear to mean nothing.” click here to read the press release 16:16

FFAW-Unifor flip flops on support for Marine Protected Area off Newfoundland’s South coast after FISH-NL embarrasses union into it 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the FFAW-Unifor’s last-minute objections to proposed regulations governing a Marine Protected Area (MPA) off the province’s south coast — after initially supporting them — is an attempt to cover its gross incompetence. “The FFAW-Unifor only opened its mouth after FISH-NL embarrassed the union into it,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “FISH-NL says jump and the FFAW-Unifor asks how high. Only jumping’s not enough — the FFAW does not deserve to represent inshore harvesters.” On June 24, the federal government launched a 30-day consultation period over proposed regulations to govern the Laurentian Channel MPA, which, at more than 12,000 square kilometres, would be Canada’s largest — and the province’s third protected area. click here to read the press release 20:31

FISH-NL recommends DFO immediately suspend extra cod to south coast inshore harvesters 

“The priority must be to ensure all inshore harvesters have the opportunity to at least catch their basic IQs (Individual Quotas),” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. It’s rumoured that more than 60 per cent of the 6,500-tonne cod quota that’s been set this year off the south coast (fishing zone 3Ps) has already been taken. A DFO official said late Wednesday afternoon the Department has noticed an increase in landings, and is “monitoring” the situation. While south coast harvesters are assigned IQs, they’re also allowed to catch even more cod — this year it’s up to one full extra IQ, which local harvesters refer to as a “bump”. Rumour also has it that Ocean Choice International is currently gearing up its offshore vessels to catch south coast cod this fall. click here to read the story 23:43

FISH-NL – Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Torrent River Inn in Hawke’s Bay

FISH-NL wishes to advise all inshore fish harvesters of the Great Northern Peninsula/southern Labrador that a meeting is scheduled for this coming Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Torrent River Inn in Hawke’s Bay. All harvesters are urged to attend. President Ryan Cleary will outline a number of issues that threaten the future of the inshore fishery in the area. 14:22

FISH-NL files opposition to MPA off Newfoundland’s south coast, calling it joke to scientists and insult to inshore harvesters

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has registered its official opposition to proposed regulations to govern a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Laurentian Channel off Newfoundland’s south coast. “The proposed Laurentian Channel MPA is an insult to inshore fish harvesters, and a cruel joke to scientists,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The fact that the proposal has  been signed off on by the FFAW-Unifor is yet another example of a union that no longer champions its members or the fishing industry, and has become a lackie of Ottawa and the oil and gas industry.” click here to read the press release 11:56

FISH-NL calls on DFO to extend snow crab season off eastern Newfoundland and southern Avalon 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 14th, 2017 – The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans to extend the snow crab fishing season in fishing zone 3L off eastern Newfoundland and the southern Avalon for at least two weeks in light of the delayed start to the season. “Severe ice conditions set most inshore harvesters back, and they need to make up that time on the water,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Inshore harvesters are also experiencing slower catches because of the caplin and herring coming in over the fishing grounds, so that must be taken into account.” As it stands, the snow crab season is slated to close in 3L on July 31st. FISH-NL has made an official request to DFO on behalf of harvesters to extend the season. 12:18

FISH-NL questions whether FFAW retaliating against inshore harvesters of the Great Northern Peninsula for taking union to court

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) questions whether the FFAW-Unifor has purposely chosen not to take a stand for inshore harvesters of the Great Northern Peninsula in retaliation for some of them taking the union to court. “The FFAW-Unifor’s silence on a redfish quota to the Qalipu First Nation when inshore harvesters are barely hanging on and desperate for fish is bizarre,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “One explanation is that the union is retaliating against harvesters who took a stand against it.” During a news conference on Newfoundland’s west coast earlier this week, it was announced that the Barry Group, headed by west coast businessman Bill Barry, has formed a partnership with the Qalipu First Nation, and are in talks with Ottawa for a redfish quota in the Gulf. click here to read the press release 15:04

FISH-NL slams redfish deal that would give quota to Qalipu First Nation when inshore harvesters have nothing to fish

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is deeply concerned over media reports that the Corner Brook-based Qalipu band, Barry Group, and federal government are in talks to start divvying up a rebounding redfish stock in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. “Inshore harvesters and their enterprises are the engines of rural communities, live adjacent to the resource, and have an historical attachment that goes back hundreds of years,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Inshore harvesters — and inshore harvesters alone — must have priority access to fish stocks off our shores.” “The Qalipu First Nation has absolutely no investment in the redfish fishery, and absolutely no history of fishing it,” says Boyd Lavers, an inshore harvester from Port Saunders, and Captain of FISH-NL’s over 40-foot fleet. click here to read the press release 15:19

Barry Group, Qalipu sign deal to harvest and process western Newfoundland ocean perch – Bill Barry says he has never been so stoked about fishing a new resource. The owner of the Barry Group of Cos. has signed a deal with the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band to harvest and process ocean perch fished off the coast of western Newfoundland. click here to read the story

Fisheries groups upset over seismic testing approval, may have ‘incredible impact’ on marine environment

Just a few months after DFO cut crab quotas, now the oil and gas industry may be interfering with the livelihoods of harvesters, according to fisheries unions. The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) has approved offshore seismic testing to take place in prime fishing areas on the Grand Banks. The board approved the request from Multi Klient Invest AS (MKI) for three-dimensional seismic testing in two areas from mid-July to mid-October and from mid-July to the end of August. The Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) issued a press release on Friday, calling on the petroleum board to reconsider its decision.,,, Ryan Cleary wrote the C-NLOPB at the end of June, asking to suspend seismic testing in order to study its impact on marine life. click here to read the story 08:50

FISH-NL calls on C-NLOPB to suspend seismic work in light of potential impact on basis of marine food chain 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has requested that the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) immediately suspend seismic work  off Newfoundland and Labrador in light of a new study that found the intense acoustic signals may damage critical elements of the marine food chain. “With most commercial fish stocks at or near critical levels our first priority must be the health of our renewable marine resources,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL, who made the request Thursday in a letter to Scott Tessier, chair and executive officer of the C-NLOPB. “The potential impact of seismic testing on the marine environment — combined with a potential conflict of interest in which the best interests of inshore harvesters may not be represented — should compel the C-NLOPB to act,” Cleary wrote in the letter. click here to read the press release 08:59

FISH-NL advises Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc to cancel 2017 sentinel cod program 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 26th, 2017 The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has written federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc recommending that he cancel the 2017 sentinel cod program. The federal government first introduced sentinel or test fisheries for cod in the mid-1990s, the moratoria years, to keep a first-hand check of the health of stocks in the absence of commercial fisheries. It has never been adjusted to account for or to incorporate the impacts of commercial activity. The program involves upwards of roughly 70 fixed, test fishery sites, costing taxpayers an estimated $1.1 million a year. Funds are also raised from the sale of cod caught in the sentinel fisheries, an estimated 350 tonnes, but it’s not known where that money goes. click here to read the press release and letter 15:06

FISH-NL says FFAW no longer entitled to represent inshore harvesters; urges Labour Board to order immediate vote 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the province’s Labour Relations Board should proceed immediately to a vote of inshore harvesters to decide which union would best represent them. While FISH-NL’s application for certification remains before the Board, other factors necessitate a vote as soon as possible: the Supreme Court of NL, Court of Appeal, recently upheld an earlier court decision that the FFAW deceived its members; and the FFAW’s failure to reveal how much money oil companies pump into the union. “The FFAW is beyond salvation,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The FFAW no longer deserves the right to represent inshore harvesters, who have lost all faith and respect for their union. The only recourse is to allow them to vote on their future.” click here to read the press release 13:49

FISH-NL questions whether province’s Federation of Labour still supports FFAW after union convicted of deceiving members

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is questioning whether the province’s Federation of Labour still stands “shoulder to shoulder” with the FFAW since the union has been convicted in court of deceiving its membership. “As federation president, Mary Shortall came out last November and took sides, condemning FISH-NL,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “But Friday’s unprecedented ruling by the Court of Appeal, backing up an earlier Supreme Court of NL decision, means the FFAW broke its sacred trust with its membership.” click here to read the press release 16:03

FISH-NL calls on FFAW President Keith Sullivan to apologize to members

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on Keith Sullivan, president of the FFAW-Unifor, to publicly apologize to his members after an appeal court ruled in favour of scallop harvesters who were deceived by the union. Further, FISH-NL is calling for the resignation of Dave Decker, the union’s secretary-treasurer, who was in charge of the funding, as well as the firing of Jason Spingle, the FFAW staff representative who helped orchestrate the deal. “It’s practically unheard of for a union to be convicted in court of misrepresenting its membership,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Inshore harvesters have been saying for years that the FFAW no longer speaks for them — that the union is failing its membership — and this latest court decision proves that.” click here to read the press release 15:59

FISH-NL recommends Ottawa cancel 2017 sentinel cod program 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) recommends that Ottawa cancel the 2017 sentinel cod program, a series of tests fisheries around the province first introduced when stocks were under moratoria. “The sentinel fisheries have become a waste of taxpayers’ money because the model was developed for the moratoria years, and the uncertainties in the data means it has little to no impact when it is used in the assessment model,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “It appears the catch data may have also been negatively impacted by the resumption of the commercial fisheries and other factors.”  click here to read the press release 10:48

FISH-NL applauds appeal court decision reaffirming FFAW failed its membership

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) applauds an appeal court decision today reaffirming the FFAW failed its membership. The union had appealed a March, 2016 Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador ruling in favour of scallop fishermen who took the union to court over a compensation fund for lost fishing grounds in the Strait of Belle Isle. In the unanimous ruling handed down today, the three judges with the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Court of Appeal, found that the “FFAW was clearly acting outside its usual role and did not appreciate the full implications of its behaviour.” Click here to read the press release 14:54

‘They’re not relevant’: Fisheries union boss says Ryan Cleary desperate for a headline

It’s been nine months since a bare knuckles battle began over the right to represent inshore harvesters in Newfoundland and Labrador, and both sides say they want a deciding round to start soon. The upstart Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is waging a fight to bust up the powerful Fish, Food and Allied Workers union (FFAW), and there’s no end in sight to this very public feud. FISH-NL has applied to the labour relations board for a certification vote so harvesters can decide once and for all who they want to represent their interests. But that process has dragged on for months, with the board only saying that it’s an ongoing matter. “We have a situation where you’ve got 2,500 harvesters who are connected to FISH-NL who are invisible to the FFAW,” said FISH-NL president Ryan Cleary. click here to read the story 22:47

FFAW denies allegation of conflict of interest in relation to Hebron tow-out

The province’s fisheries union is scoffing at an allegation from a rival that it rewarded an influential enterprise owner by giving him a contract to escort the Hebron platform to sea. The Fish, Food and Allied Workers’ union is also defending its relationship with the oil and gas industry.,, The latest flare-up in tension between the FFAW and the Federation of Independent Seafood Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) relates to the recent tow-out from Trinity Bay of the Hebron platform. The two groups are locked in a bitter feud, with FISH-NL fighting to replace the FFAW as the official bargaining agent for inshore harvesters. click here to read the story 12:38:

FISH-NL raises concerns of conflict of interest over marine escort contract awarded to FFAW executive member 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on the FFAW-Unifor to explain an apparent conflict of interest involving an executive member of the union who won a lucrative marine escort contract with the offshore oil industry. “Fish harvesters demand and deserve an explanation,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. The Eastern Princess II, a fishing vessel owned by Nelson Bussey, who serves on the union’s executive board (Inshore, Avalon Peninsula), was apparently hired in recent weeks to escort the Hebron oil platform out to sea. Marine Escorts are regularly contracted for offshore oil and gas operations to guide marine vessels safely through open water, avoiding fishing gear. The FFAW decides which fishing boats are hired through the union’s Fishing Guide Vessel Program. It’s not known how many fishing boat owners expressed interest in the contract. click here to read the press release 13:11

Feds announce emergency funding for ice-impacted harvesters in N.L., Quebec

The federal government has finally stepped in to provide emergency financial assistance to fish harvesters impacted by severe ice conditions in Newfoundland and Labrador.Fisheries and Ocean Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced Friday up to $5 million has been allocated for payments for eligible applicants in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec, under the Ice Assistance Emergency Program. Application forms for the program will be available on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) website as of June 23. They will also be available at DFO and Service Canada offices in the ice-affected areas.,,, In response to the announcement, the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) union called it unacceptable to not include fish plant workers in the income support program.,,, “Better late than never,” FISH-NL president Ryan Cleary said in a news release, adding the group has been lobbying for emergency funding since April. click here to read the story 09:53

FISH-NL questions whether FFAW ‘bought and paid for’ by offshore oil industry 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on the FFAW to reveal details of its financial arrangements with the offshore oil industry to address questions of conflict of interest. “It’s time for the FFAW to reveal how much money the union is collecting from the oil industry,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Oil and fish don’t mix, but you’d never say that from the union’s cozy relationship with the offshore.” The media has described the amount of seismic activity set to take place off Newfoundland and Labrador this year as “super-sized.” Seismic activity uses high energy, low frequency sound waves that can penetrate thousands of metres below the sea floor, and while the impact on fish stocks and the marine environment is debatable, the FFAW hasn’t whispered a word of concern. click here to read the press release Read the related article – Super-sized seismic activity planned for Newfoundland’s offshore this year click here 13:57

FISH-NL to Government of Canada – Stop stringing along harvesters impacted by severe ice conditions

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on the Government of Canada to stop stringing along the province’s inshore harvesters and start making decisions regarding help for those impacted this year by severe ice conditions. “This delay by the Government of Canada is a form of mental torture,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Harvesters are continually told a decision will come soon, a decision will come tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes. Meantime, harvesters, their families, and rural communities are suffering.” click here to read the press release 11:07

FISH-NL calls on FFAW to come clean on details of marine escort fees; show compassion to members who owe back dues 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on the FFAW to come clean and reveal the “administrative fee” the union charges fishing boat owners hired by oil companies as marine escorts. On another front, FISH-NL is calling on the FFAW to show compassion to members who owe back dues — given the slash in quotas and severe ice conditions — and allow repayment over a broader time frame. “The FFAW is feeding off its membership at every chance,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “At the same time, when the membership is vulnerable and expects the union to show some compassion, the FFAW turns its back on them.” Click here to read the press release 13:29

FISH-NL calls on Ottawa for ice compensation/gear replacement

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on Ottawa to extend EI benefits for fish harvesters on Newfoundland’s northeast coast impacted by severe ice conditions. FISH-NL also says harvesters who lost crab gear should be compensated because the federal government should not have opened the fishery in their areas. “Some harvesters and their families are having an extremely hard time of it,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL, in calling for ice compensation in the form of an EI extension. “They can’t go fishing because ice conditions haven’t improved, and they ran out of EI benefits weeks ago.”,,, John Gillett, an inshore fisherman from Twillingate, wrote the following letter today to federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc, click here to read the press release 15:44