Tag Archives: FISH-NL

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

FISH-NL calls for reopening of Terms of Union with Canada; state of fisheries national shame and international disgrace 

The President of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the province’s Terms of Union with Canada must be reopened with regards to fisheries management, given the critical state of the industry 68 years into Confederation. “The Terms must be revisited so that the principles of adjacency and historical attachment are ingrained in the Constitution,” says Ryan Cleary. “The fact that the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans can dictate who has first access to Newfoundland and Labrador’s primary resource is wrong for the province, wrong for adjacent inshore harvesters and rural communities, and wrong for our future.” click here to read the story 17:04

FFAW bloated with millions more in fees and government revenue than union dues

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) estimates the FFAW-Unifor will be fed by almost $5 million more this year from harvester fees and government sources than from membership dues, proving the union has lost its way.  “The FFAW-Unifor has mutated into a labour sea monster with tentacles in management, science, dockside monitoring, grading, professionalization, and safety,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “It’s often said that the FFAW doesn’t make money from fishermen, but through fishermen. The union executive grows fat with huge salaries and pensions while inshore harvesters are being starved out.” In 2017, FISH-NL estimates the FFAW-Unifor will collect $7.9 million in fees from inshore harvesters for services such as dockside monitoring and grading, as well as from various government contracts/grants. click here to read the story 08:11

FISH-NL accuses FFAW-Unifor of hypocrisy, preaching ‘fair access’ for inshore harvesters while squeezing them out 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) accuses the FFAW-Unifor of hypocrisy for preaching “fair access” to adjacent resources for inshore harvesters while, in practice, squeezing them out. “If the FFAW said the sun was splitting the rocks inshore harvesters would run for their oil clothes,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “When it comes to the deck of a fishing boat the union’s credibility is non-existent.” The FFAW-Unifor issued a news release earlier today (click here) announcing the formation of a new committee focused on securing “fair and reasonable” access for the inshore fleet to fish resources adjacent to the province’s shores. In particular, access to groundfish species such as greysole, turbot, redfish and American plaice, quotas for many of which are managed by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), which oversees fishing in international waters outside Canada’s 200-mile limit. click here to read the press release 13:27

From faithful to faith lost – Northern Peninsula fishermen weigh in on union debate

As issues abound within a particularly turbulent fishery this summer, the union debate among Newfoundland and Labrador harvesters still seems uncertain as ever. Since they came on the scene, the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has been stirring up a call for a labour board vote on whether the long-standing Fish, Foods and Allied Workers union (FFAW) still deserves to represent the province’s fishers. Maxwell Sexton has spent five decades fishing the waters of the Northern Peninsula. While he knows the common complaints, he says he’s never had any personal issues with the FFAW. But Dan Reardon of Goose Cove, a fisherman who retired just this year, says he’s had a rough history with the FFAW and is completely fed up with the union. click here to read the story 14:00

Conditional discharge awarded to Grand Bank fisherman

Wayne Meade was in provincial court in Grand Bank Aug. 31, where he pleaded guilty to two counts of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm. The charges stem from comments Meade made to Fish, Food and Allied Works (FFAW) union representatives Dwan Street and Roland Hedderson during a meeting in Fortune Nov. 1, 2016. An agreed statement of facts presented to the court states Meade was aggressive when he attended the meeting, he continued to pound the table with his fists, and at one point told the representatives, “I will rip your heads of and shit down your neck.” Council for the accused said Meade told police he did not intend to cause harm to either Dwan Street or Roland Hedderson. “This is a very frustrating time in the lives of fishermen,” said Randy Piercey. click here to read the story 14:02

FISH-NL’s request for immediate vote denied by Labour Board; inshore harvesters, the most controlled labour group in western world

“It’s impossible to enjoy the Labour Day Weekend when upwards of 3,000 inshore harvesters are being crucified by oppressive union representation, and a government that allows it to continue,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “What’s more, provincial legislation blocks harvesters from taking part in free enterprise in that outside fish buyers aren’t allowed in. Where else in the democratic world would this be permitted? Harvesters are the most controlled labour group in the province, country, and western world.” FISH-NL wrote David Conway, the new chair of the province’s Labour Relations Board, on Aug. 15th, requesting the board proceed with an immediate vote to determine which union they want to represent them. In an Aug. 31st response letter, CEO Glenn Branton pointed out the investigation into FISH-NL’s application for certification — which was presented to the board on Dec. 30, 2016 — is ongoing. click here to read the press release 12:50

FISH-NL releases correspondence in response to its call for immediate vote for inshore harvesters to decide their union fate 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) was forwarded correspondence today in response to its Aug. 15th letter asking the Labour Relations Board to proceed immediately with a vote of inshore harvesters to decide which union they want to represent them. The correspondence is from the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP), and the FFAW-Unifor. “FISH-NL believes in complete transparency,” said Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “In that light, both letters are attached.” click here to read the press release and letters 13:45

FISH-NL urges provincial government to establish Fishery Stress Line similar to one for western farmers 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on the provincial government to establish a Fishery Stress Line to help inshore harvesters access help for mental health. “The fishery is in worse shape today than the cod moratorium days of the early 1990s because harvesters have bigger loans, and there are no other species to move onto,” said Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “More and more harvesters are having a hard go of it because of quota cuts that make it difficult for them and their families to keep going financially, and they see the future as bleak.” Saskatchewan has had a Farm Stress Line since 1989, offering mental health services to thousands of rural farmers. click here to read the press release 10:49

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