Tag Archives: Preserving the Independence of the Inshore Fleet in Canada’s Atlantic Fisheries

Controlling Agreements – DFO cracks down on fishing licences it says are fronts for corporations

Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans is taking action against more Atlantic fishermen it says are holding inshore fishing licences as fronts for corporations. The department says it has notified a number of fishermen in “controlling agreements” that their licences are forfeit. “There are a number of cases that we’ve told the individuals that we believe they are in a controlling agreement. We’ve told them we believe their licences are not eligible for renewal,” says Morley Knight, assistant deputy minister for DFO. Such licences are known in the industry as company licences. A fisherman holds the inshore licence — as required by DFO — but in name only. click here to read the story 07:59

Move aimed at halting backdoor corporate takeover of inshore fisheries – Corporate interests fighting back click here to read the story 12:48

Controlling Agreements – To fish or control?

On Nov. 14, Nova Scotia fisherman Graeme Gawn told a Parliamentary committee that “thousands of inshore” fishermen have been “disenfranchised from their traditional fisheries.” Mr. Gawn was referring to the fact that many fishermen have yielded control of their licences to corporations. The consolidation of inshore licences is supposedly illegal. Under Canada’s Policy for Preserving the Independence of the Inshore Fleet in Canada’s Atlantic Fisheries, the holders of individual (owner-operator) fishing licences are supposed to harvest and sell their own catch. As former Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea stated, the policy is designed to “ensure that inshore fish harvesters remain independent, and that the benefits of fishing licences flow to Atlantic coastal communities.” It doesn’t always work out that way. Read the op-ed here 09:51

Controlling Agreements – Future of N.S. fishery hinges on federal court appeal

The president of a Nova Scotia fishermen’s union is hopeful a federal court appeal in early 2017 will fail in its challenge of a ministerial decision to enforce policies insulating Atlantic Canada’s inshore fishery from corporate interests. “It’s also our hope that the policy, as well as the minister’s power to regulate the industry for social, cultural and economic considerations, gets strengthened under the Fisheries Act,” , president of the Maritime Fisherman’s Union Local 9 in Meteghan, told the Chronicle Herald in an interview. Enacted in 2007, the aim of Preserving the Independence of the Inshore Fleet in Canada’s Atlantic Fisheries is to enforce the owner-operator and fleet separation policies established in 1979 by Roméo LeBlanc — father of current fisheries minister Dominic LeBlanc — so that inshore fish harvesters remain independent, allowing the profit of fishing licences to flow to fishers and Atlantic coastal communities. Read the article here 13:19

Fisheries policy will destroy the industry it set out to protect – Preserving the Independence of the Inshore Fleet in Canada’s Atlantic Fisheries

The plan was to prevent “corporations” from owning harvesting licences. Much to the surprise of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Canada Revenue Agency, most of the individual fishermen holding licences had already incorporated and took the revenue through a business while the licence was held by an individual. A blind eye here, a pen stroke there and the past was forgotten and the first concessions made — some corporations could hold licences. “One boat, one licence” is an idealistic perspective of fairness and independence. Fleet separation was to establish the rule that fishermen fish, and processors process. It is also one blurred by more concessions. continued