Tag Archives: FISH-NL

LETTER: Fish harvesters, plantworkers are stronger together

This letter is a response to Ryan Cleary’s letter “Single union can’t represent all sides of fishery” >click here<. Uniting workers in the fishing industry through a single union has delivered significant benefits to both fish harvesters and plant workers in the 50-year history of FFAW-Unifor and its predecessor unions. The only groups who do not support strong unions are the fishing companies we negotiate with, and Ryan Cleary and his group FISH-NL. by Keith Sullivan >click to read< 13:01

FISH-NL supports calls for independent offshore environmental authority; FFAW-Unifor must come clean with oil industry funding

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) supports calls for an independent authority to oversee the environment in the province’s offshore oil and gas industry. “There is growing evidence that the industry regulator, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, is unable to protect the environment,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Between seismic blasting and offshore spills, it’s full-speed ahead for the petroleum industry — the commercial fishery and marine environment be damned.” >click to read< 11:22

Single union can’t represent all sides of fishery

Is it a coincidence that the FFAW-Unifor gave out free codfish on the St. John’s waterfront Monday morning (Aug. 12) at the same time that FISH-NL held a news conference to announce a second membership drive? Any trouble swallowing the idea that the foolish fish giveaway forced Fisheries Minister Gerry Byrne’s hand into opening the door a crack to outside buyers, where six months before he had slammed the door at the suggestion?  >click to read< 08:34

Try, try again: FISH-NL making second push to unseat FFAW

The union, which formed three years ago, has learned from its first failure and adjusted tactics accordingly, said its president. “This has been a long, hard process. and we’ve learned a lot along the way,” said Ryan Cleary. Whereas before FISH-NL spent six weeks campaigning for cards, now it will use the maximum allowed amount of 90 days, submitting the results to the province’s Labour Relations Board on Nov. 8. The board will then verify the submission and rule on whether FISH-NL met the qualifications to trigger a vote among all fish harvesters as to who they want as their union. >click to read< 09:05

FISH-NL membership drive. Inshore harvesters offered second chance to break free of FFAW-Unifor

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is launching today its second membership drive for inshore harvesters to finally break free of the FFAW/Unifor.,,, “FISH-NL’s first battle is to free harvesters from the FFAW stranglehold, and after almost three long years we’re almost there,” Cleary added. “The second fight will be to end mismanagement of our fisheries, and secure harvesters and the rural communities where they live with a prosperous future as the primary beneficiary of adjacent stocks.” The membership drive starts today, and will conclude on Nov. 8th when FISH-NL will submit the membership cards as part of an application for certification to the province’s Labour Relations Board. >click to read< 11:46

FISH-NL to hold news conference Monday on membership drive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, Aug. 9th, 2019, The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has scheduled a news conference for Monday, Aug. 12, regarding its 2019 membership drive. The conference will be held at 11 a.m. at FISH-NL’s office, located at 5 Job St. in downtown St. John’s. All media are invited to attend.  Contact: Ryan Cleary 682 4862

FISH-NL calls for immediate halt to all fishing for northern cod outside stewardship fishery; independent assessment of DFO science

“When one of the preeminent fisheries science researchers in the world warns that Fisheries and Oceans may be dramatically overestimating the size of the iconic northern cod stock — which is already classified as critical, and in the 27th year of a commercial fishing moratorium — you listen,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “From FISH-NL’s perspective, we must also err on the side of caution and take immediate and unprecedented action,” said Cleary. “That means a cancellation of all fishing for northern cod outside of the stewardship fishery — including the sentinel (test) fisheries, cod quality program, recreation/food fishery, and any and all fishing of northern cod by offshore, factory-freezer trawlers, foreign or domestic.” >click to read< 09:02

FISH-NL calls for elimination of cod quality program; five years later and price per pound has declined

“The cod quality project serves no other purpose than to extract fish from fishermen, and into the FFAW.”— Jason Sullivan, FISH-NL’s secretary-treasurer FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling for the elimination of the so-called cod quality program that directs hundreds of tonnes to the FFAW-Unifor — with the fish once again set aside for all harvesters to catch. >click to read<08:08

FISH-NL asks Ottawa to review quota-sharing arrangements of adjacent stocks – A Letter to Fisheries Minister Wilkinson

“There should be no difference between the fish and oil off our shores in terms of who the principle beneficiary must be — Newfoundland and Labrador,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “That’s not the case with species like turbot, halibut, snow crab and scallops, which is unacceptable.” “Newfoundland and Labrador is slowly losing access to the fish off its shores, which, if not stopped and reversed, will be lethal to the culture and way of life.” In a letter Tuesday to federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister John Wilkinson, Cleary noted that Canada only holds 15 per cent of the turbot quota on the entire Grand Banks, with the remaining 85 per cent held by counties like the European Union, Japan, and Russia. >click to read<08:32

Labrador fleet wants separate quota for northern cod – FFAW and FISH-NL do not support

Fishers from the 2J fleets partnered with the Labrador Fishermen’s Union Shrimp Company to make the proposal. In 2018, a 9,500-tonne limit was placed on the northern cod stewardship fishery for fishing zones 2J3KL.,,, Dwight Russell, a Mary’s Harbour fisherman, is chair of the 2J fishers. He told The Northern Pen the fleet is just looking for a fair share.,, Russell says he doesn’t believe the 2J cod fishing fleet, historically, has been given much opportunity to grow. He says if they could get a higher share of the total Northern cod quota, it would allow the industry to grow in the region. >click to read>08:34

FISH-NL – an allegation of collusion among processing companies

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is asking the federal Competition Bureau to investigate an allegation of collusion involving fish processing companies on the Great Northern Peninsula. “The charge is incredibly serious, and must be investigated,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. Roland Genge, a well-known and respected fisherman from Port Saunders, sold his northern shrimp in past years to QuinSea Fisheries, but recently decided to change buyers and sell to the Corner Brook-based Barry Group. >click to read<11:48

Ice compensation? – FISH-NL says rules around ice compensation mean few harvesters will qualify

FISH-NL is calling on Ottawa to amend the $5-million program so that it’s retroactive to early April when fishing EI benefits ran out. “This program was only put in place to make DFO look good because it’s not much help to us,” says Joseph Hynes, a fisherman from Port Saunders on the Great Northern Peninsula. “It’s just for show.” ,,, “The whole idea of the ice assistance was to help out harvesters who couldn’t get out on the water to earn a living,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “It seems Fisheries and Oceans either missed that point or said the hell with it.” >click to read<09:28

FISH-NL against proposals to grant Labrador harvesters 25% of northern cod quota; calls on FFAW-Unifor to reveal its stand

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is against proposals that could see 25 per cent of the northern cod quota allocated to harvesters from Labrador and processed there. “No one group or organization should be entitled to a percentage of the overall total allowable catch,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The inshore harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador as a whole must be the principle beneficiary of adjacent fish stocks.” >click to read<11:14

FISH-NL expects NDP to be tail that wags Liberal dog regarding inshore fishery

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the province’s New Democratic Party is positioned to force changes to the Liberal agenda, including $20 million targeted for seismic blasting, and sea-cage aquaculture off the south coast. “The NDP is poised to be a powerful tail within a minority government to wag the Liberal dog,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “We need that tail to follow through, and take a stand for the inshore fishery.” In response to a FISH-NL questionnaire leading up to the May 16th election, NDP Leader Alison Coffin outlined specific issues regarding the inshore fishery that “they will champion in the future.” >click to read<10:47

FISH-NL survey: Crosbie advised against outside buyers; imagines an ‘Atlantic fisheries accord’

Ches Crosbie says Newfoundland and Labrador should become principle beneficiary of adjacent fish stocks and “imagines” an Atlantic fisheries accord similar to the Atlantic Accord for oil and gas, but the PC Leader also supports offshore seismic activity, and has been advised against outside buyers. “Ches Crosbie answers some questions more directly than others,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “He’s a bit wishy-washy on the issue of seals, and with the question of whether he supports on-land verses at-sea aquaculture.” Crosbie’s response letter is attached. >click to read<13:13

FISH-NL – Harp seals and outside buyers not on list of fishery issues NDP prepared to ‘champion’

While the province’s New Democratic Party supports the principle of adjacency, moving away from “environmentally destructive” sea-cage aquaculture, and is “deeply concerned” about the impact of offshore seismic activity, Leader Alison Coffin doesn’t address other inshore fishery issues including harp seals and outside buyers. “The NDP is the first to respond to FISH-NL’s survey of provincial parties on the subject of the inshore fishery,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “But not all questions were responded to, which probably says as much as a direct answer.” On May 3rd, FISH-NL sent eight questions to the leaders of each of the four political parties running in the May 16th provincial election: >click to read<16:39

FISH-NL calls on provincial parties to reveal stand on major fishery issues before provincial election

“The inshore fishery is critical to the province’s future, and the responses from each of the parties will give harvesters, their families, and rural communities where they live a clear idea of where each of the parties stand,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. FISH-NL’s questions were forwarded today to each of the four party leaders, including Liberal Leader Dwight Ball, Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie, NDP Leader Alison Coffin, and NL Alliance head Graydon Pelley. The provincial election is scheduled for May 16th, and FISH-NL requested responses from each of the four political camps by Monday, May 13h. All responses will be made public. >click to read<14:34

FISH-NL to proceed with second application for certification; internal polling puts support at up to 66 per cent

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) will proceed with a second application for certification — including a province-wide membership drive to begin Aug. 1st — to break inshore harvesters away from their current union. “We’re full steam ahead — shoulders to the wheel,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Inshore harvesters have told us they want change, and we’ll continue to do everything in our power to deliver on that change.” Peter Leonard, Vice-President of FISH-NL and an inshore harvester from Southern Harbour, quoted well-known Twillingate fisherman Richard Gillett in summing up his thoughts on the current union representation. “I’d rather fight on my feet than live on my knees,” said Leonard. “We’ll keep going until we can go no more.” >click to read<10:48

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