Tag Archives: FISH-NL

FISH-NL dissolves, application dead in the water

Time has run out for FISH-NL, which announced today it is ending its membership drive far below the required number of signatures, and the group is being dissolved. Ryan Cleary, president of the Federation of Independent Fish Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador, made the announcement Tuesday. >click to read< 14:58

Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL, gave the following statement this morning, Tuesday, Dec. 3rd, 2019

I have a message for the thousands of harvesters who signed FISH-NL cards, and a message to the 437 harvesters who paid dues to FISH-NL. Keep fighting — against mismanagement. Keep fighting — against conflicts of interest. Keep fighting — against favouritism and unfair, undemocratic, union practices. Keep fighting for what’s right — because there’s so much wrong in today’s fishery. And everybody knows it. Most importantly, keep trying to fight with each other — side by side. The more individual fishermen and women worth together, the better things can be. Right is right/wrong is wrong. >Please click to read the statement<. 11:00

Fish-NL: Competition Bureau closes investigation into collusion involving fish processors; harvesters wouldn’t name names

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is disappointed to learn that the federal Competition Bureau has closed its investigation into recent allegations of collusion involving fish processing companies. “Officials with the Competition Bureau say the people they interviewed wouldn’t give up names, and they couldn’t get the information they needed to carry out an investigation,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The cold, hard reality is that people living in small-town Newfoundland and Labrador fear repercussions for speaking out, and their livelihoods on the water will be jeopardized.” >click to read< 08:36

FISH-NL extends membership drive

“We always knew a time extension was available if we needed it,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “We need the extra time based on the unique challenges associated with collecting membership cards over a 90-day timeline from thousands of inshore harvesters spread out over a massive geographical area, as was the case 22 years ago.” “In order to make sure all inshore harvesters have the opportunity to decide their future we have decided to go with an extension.” Precedent for an extension of the 90-day rule was set in 1997 when the province’s Labour Relations Board agreed to extend the timeline up to 180 days for the United Food and Commercial Workers union,,, >click to read< 08:30

Clock ticking on FISH-NL’s 2nd certification drive

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters-Newfoundland and Labrador has until Friday to sign up enough members to trigger a vote on whether it should be the union to represent the province’s inshore fishermen. Union president Ryan Cleary says collecting cards has been a covert operation because people are worried about repercussions from the Fish, Food & Allied Workers union — the union FISH-NL is looking to unseat as the inshore industry’s bargaining unit. >click to read< 08:47

FFAW publicity stunt

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) calls the FFAW-Unifor’s submission of a land bid this morning to protect crab grounds a publicity stunt to deflect attention from the final days of FISH-NL’s membership drive. “The FFAW submits a fake cheque to protect snow crab grounds during the last week of FISH-NL’s drive the same way the union gave away free cod on the St. John’s waterfront the very day in early August that our drive began,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Inshore harvesters aren’t stunned— the FFAW just treats them as if they are. >click to read< 13:51

Fisheries union presents giant novelty cheque for $1 billion to C-NLOPB>click to read<

FISH-NL plans Day of Action for Nov. 6th: ’We need more fight to make this work’

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is organizing a Day of Action for Wednesday, Nov. 6th — a final opportunity for the province’s inshore harvesters to break free from the FFAW-Unifor. It’s been made more than clear that the FFAW-Unifor is not working in the best interests of inshore harvesters,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Fishermen know the score, but it’s in their hands now. They have spent years complaining on the wharf about the FFAW, but now the time has come to either join the harvesters putting up a fight, sign a card, and take a stand, or accept the scraps they’re been left with by Ottawa, the other provinces, foreign nations, offshore companies, and the FFAW.” >Click to read< 09:55

FISH-NL’s Platform Puts Inshore Harvesters First

  1. FISH-NL will serve as a union solely for the inshore harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador. 2. FISH-NL will organize regular open, transparent membership meetings so that issues such as the northern cod management plan are debated, and voted on. 3. No benefits — including pension/medical plans — will be available to the FISH-NL executive unless available to all members. 5. FISH-NL will not manage any commercial fishery, or hold any quotas. DFO must deal directly with inshore harvesters in assigning survey work for fisheries science. 6.,,, >click to read the rest< 11:29

FISH-NL launches ‘Full-Steam Ahead’ crowdfunding campaign

FISH-NL launched the “Full-Steam Ahead” public crowdfunding campaign today to raise $40,000 to support the ongoing province-wide membership drive. “Every time FISH-NL has put out a call for support, inshore harvesters, their families and our supporters in rural Newfoundland and Labrador have answered,” says Cleary. “We need you once again to push this movement over the top.” >click to read< 16:12

Federal Liberals treat East Coast fishery as ‘second class’; move to ban at-sea fish farms off BC, but not eastern Canada?

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) accuses the Liberal Party of Canada of talking out of both sides of its mouth for promising to phase out at-sea salmon farms in British Columbia while ignoring Eastern Canada. “The impact of open-pen aquaculture is the exact same on both coasts, with the same companies reportedly operating on both ends of the country, but the Liberal policy is strictly for the West Coast,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “How does that make sense? How is that fair? Do the Liberals consider the East Coast fishery a second-class industry?” >click to read<  14:41

Police called as FISH-NL execs crash FFAW meeting in Baie Verte – Cleary and Leonard physically forced out

The president of an upstart fisheries union says he didn’t barge in on an meeting in search of a confrontation with the union that represents the province’s in-shore harvesters, but a confrontation is what he got.,,, What ensued was momentary, aggressive chaos, as Cleary shouted “I tell the truth” and “we want a debate,” amid other people yelling and swearing, before meeting attendees physically forced him and Leonard from the room. The RCMP were also called to the incident. >click to read<  16:37

FISH-NL – Which Side Are You On?

Click the image to play the video! 14:18

Membership Drive: FISH-NL launches province-wide tour

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) began the second wave of its membership drive this morning with the launch of a province-wide tour. “We’ll be going from wharf to wharf and stage to stage so harvesters can finally break free of the FFAW-Unifor — and the inshore fishery can start moving forward,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. The first wave of FISH-NL’s drive began on Aug. 12th when thousands of membership cards began circulating around the province — including to more than 170 card captains. The second wave — which will begin on the Great Northern Peninsula — is to speak directly to harvesters, and to collect their cards. >click to read, join, support< 10:30

‘It’s not possible to be independent and arm’s-length when you’re practically married and living under the same roof.’

FISH-NL writes Premier with ‘serious concerns’ over relationship between FFAW and provincial corporation that runs fish harvester registration,,, “The head of the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board has said the board ‘operates independently and on an arm’s-length basis from the FFAW’ when that is clearly not the case,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Not only is the certification board located in the same Richard Cashin Building in St. John’s as the FFAW-Unifor, but the two organizations have owned the property together since 2009,”,,, >click to read< 13:00

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