Tag Archives: FISH-NL

FISH-NL condemns $20 million in spending on seismic blasting; Grand Banks ‘desperate’ for a break

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) condemns the decision by the Dwight Ball government to spend another $20 million this year on seismic blasting in the province’s offshore. “The Grand Banks are desperate for a break,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Most commercial fish stocks are in hard shape, and plankton numbers are way down. Ottawa preaches caution with fisheries management, and Dwight throws that caution over the side of a seismic boat.” >click to read<10:48

Fight or fold: FISH-NL on the brink

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says it will close at the end of April if inshore harvesters don’t step up to pay membership fees. Of the more than 500 inshore harvesters who agreed to pay membership fees last year, only about 300 have done so leaving FISH-NL short of being able to continue on and launch another membership drive, and file another application with the labour relations board to be certified to represent the province’s inshore fishermen. >click to read<13:20

Letter to the Editor – FFAW fighting for itself, not the fishery

The FFAW-Unifor demonstration March 20 through downtown St. John’s was described to me as a “march of deception.” I disagreed — no one’ s been deceived. The facts have been laid out for all to see over the two and a half years that FISH-NL has battled the FFAW. Instead, I would call the protest a “march of madness.” FFAW supporters demonstrated to “fight for the future of our fisheries” when it’s the union itself that has been threatening their survival. The FFAW-Unifor is in a conflict of interest in representing inshore harvesters/plant workers/offshore trawler men/aquaculture workers/oil tanker workers/cold storage workers/Long Harbour workers, etc. >click to read< by Ryan Cleary 11:31

FISH-NL: Confederation’s greatest failure – It’s Canada’s dirty little secret.

“Seventy years after Confederation and the state of most of our commercial fisheries is an embarrassment and national shame,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “It’s Canada’s dirty little secret. The marriage has failed us in terms of fisheries management.” Five years after Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949 complete management control of the commercial fisheries was handed over to the federal government. Forty-three years after that, in 1992, saw the collapse of northern cod, and the introduction of a commercial fishing moratorium that resulted in the biggest layoff in Canadian history. >click to read<13:43

FISH-NL: Shrimp quota cut in Gulf of St. Lawrence. Divide between science/fisherman never greater

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) condemns a 15 per cent cut to the 2019 northern shrimp quota in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for the province’s inshore harvesters. “Our harvesters pushed for an increase — not a cut — but no one’s listening,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “This is yet another example that the divide between DFO science and fishermen has never been greater.” >click to read<14:36

FFAW’S March of Madness

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) describes the FFAW-Unifor’s demonstration Wednesday through downtown St. John’s as a “march of madness.” “FFAW supporters demonstrated to ‘fight for the future of our fisheries’ when it’s the union itself that has been threatening their survival,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. Here are 20 reasons how: 1) The FFAW-Unifor is in a conflict of interest in representing inshore harvesters/plant workers/offshore trawlermen/aquaculture workers/oil tanker workers/cold storage workers/Long Harbour workers, etc. >click to read<12:32

Wednesday demonstration – FFAW has done worse damage to fisheries than harp seals or seismic blasting: FISH-NL

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the FFAW-Unifor has done worse damage to the province’s commercial fisheries than harp seals or seismic blasting. “Fishermen are nothing but a cash cow to the FFAW,” says Peter Leonard, Vice-President of FISH-NL and an inshore harvester from Southern Harbour. “The FFAW is working hand-in-hand with oil companies, the federal and provincial governments, and the aquaculture industry, and we’re being played for fools,” he added.,,, The FFAW-Unifor has scheduled a demonstration for noon Wednesday at the Delta Hotel in downtown St. John’s to “fight for the future of our fisheries.” >click to read<15:25

FISH-NL repeats call for FFAW-Unifor to disclose money paid by oil industry; potential union conflict ‘taints’ seismic research

“The question of conflict of interest taints everything the FFAW touches — including DFO’s recent research into the impact of seismic blasting on snow crab — for as long as the union refuses to open its books,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. A 2018 DFO paper — Effects of 2D seismic on the snow crab fishery — concluded seismic activity does not have a “significant” impact on commercially caught snow crab. The paper used data the FFAW-Unifor helped collect, a contribution acknowledged in the report. At the same time, the FFAW has refused to reveal details of its financial arrangements with the offshore oil and gas industry to address questions of conflict of interest in also representing inshore fish harvesters.>click to read<14:11

FISH-NL charges Offshore Fishery Association with advertising ‘misleading’ information

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says an ongoing advertising campaign by the Offshore Fishery Association promoting its economic impact is misleading until certain facts are revealed.,,, The Offshore Fishery Association — representing the factory-freezer trawler sector — launched an aggressive advertising campaign recently branding itself as an economic contributor, employing more than 2,000 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in 300 communities, and with more than $90 million in salaries. But that economic impact may be misleading in the absence of answers to key questions. >click to read<14:01

FISH-NL takes stand against precautionary approach management system for snow crab; ‘inshore harvesters don’t want it’

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has taken a stand against the implementation of the so-called ‘precautionary approach’ management system in the commercial snow crab fishery. “The message is loud and clear from all coasts — inshore harvesters don’t want it,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Fishermen say the management system that’s in place now works well enough, and follows the normal cyclical nature of the stock.” The precautionary approach would have three levels or zones of classification — critical, healthy and cautious, with talks are ongoing between DFO and the FFAW-Unifor on setting the reference points dividing each category. FISH-NL is against the introduction of the precautionary approach altogether. >click to read<17:20

FFAW-Unifor tightens grip on NL fishery; former executive takes helm of fish processing licensing board

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is shocked that a one-time executive member of the FFAW-Unifor has been quietly appointed to chair the provincial board with a key role in licensing fish plants and buyers. At the same time, a former executive-assistant to Fisheries and Land Resources Minister Gerry Byrne has also been given a seat on the board. Both appointments — which have yet to be publicly announced — raise questions of conflict of interest, and severely diminish any hope inshore harvesters have of getting the best possible price for their fish. >click to read<10:37

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