Tag Archives: Richard Gillett

Fishing remains one of the most dangerous jobs in Canada. We talked to captains about their most hazardous experiences.

In 2017, fishing remains one of most—if not the most—dangerous jobs in Canada.,,, Storms, equipment failures, and even stingrays are among the many hazards fishermen face. Then there’s the everyday work, including setting longlines with hundreds of sharp hooks, hauling heavy lobster traps, and gutting swordfish, sharks, and tuna.,,, Regardless of what pulls a fisherman to sea, hazards are always lurking, so we talked to three East Coast captains about their most harrowing experiences at sea. click here to read the story 18:31

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

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

A Meeting With the Premier.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEThursday, May 11th, 2017 The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is pleased that the Dwight Ball administration is onside with a proposal for flexibility in this year’s harvesting rules, including buddying up to help harvesters cut down on expenses.  “Governments can’t magically produce more fish, so they must do all they can to make it easier for harvesters to get through the current crisis and keep their heads above water,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL, following an hour and a half meeting with the Premier and Fisheries Minister Steve Crocker. “The premier gets that.” The decision on flexibility is ultimately Ottawa’s, but the Ball administration agrees with the measure, whereas the FFAW does not.  Click here to read the press release 20:22

Letter: Why Richard Gillett went on a hunger strike. ” In my opinion he is a brave man,,,”

April 13th, Richard Gillett went on a hunger strike because he felt that rural Newfoundland and Labrador was facing a bleak future due to the mismanagement of oceans that had sustained us for 500 years. Richard had two requests: one for a review of the science and management of all provincial fish stocks, the other a review of the relationship of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Those are two very legitimate questions.,, In my opinion he is a brave man who is concerned about this province and has done more than anyone since the moratorium to bring to the forefront the state of our oceans. Click here to read Capt. Wilfred Bartlett, retired, letter 17:41

Censored! No Media Allowed: FFAW Union Boss to meet with protesters but not interested in ‘spectacle’

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) will meet with fish harvesters who protested outside the union building on Monday, but says media will not be allowed. “To have [media] in the meeting, and to really make something a spectacle is not really what we’re interested in,” Keith Sullivan, president of the FFAW, told CBC Radio’s St. John’s Morning Show. “Obviously [we’re] happy to meet with members, but to have a spectacle and something that’s only going to further embarrass our industry … we have no interest in doing that.”Protesters first rallied outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada building where Richard Gillett — vice-president of the Federation of Independent Seafood Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) — held his 11-day hunger strike and headed to the offices of the FFAW on Monday.  They demanded a meeting with the union, and that media be present during that meeting. click here to read the story 14:36

A protest that had the makings of turning ugly on Monday in St. John’s ended with handshakes between the fishermen fighting for their livelihoods and the police force charged with keeping public order and safety. Still, the fishermen drove away — back to home communities and boats scattered around the island — disappointed with not getting answers to a net load of questions. Fisherman Brent Adams from Marystown said the meeting should take place in the union building. “This is our building. We paid for this building. Why not meet here?” he said. “They (FFAW executive) should all resign.” click here to read the story and watch the video. 15:29

The Heat is On! Fishermen move protest to FFAW building after Richard Gillett addressed supporters outside DFO

Demonstrating fishermen have moved their protest from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) building in St. John’. About 60 fishermen gathered outside the FFAW Monday morning asking for a meeting with the union. “We want a meeting with Bill Broderick, John Boland, Keith Sullivan and Dave Decker. The fishermen [are] fed up with the union here. Our voices are not getting to Ottawa,” said Rod Rowe, a fisherman from Fogo who has been fishing more than 30 years. “You all watched Richard Gillett starve himself. What did Ottawa do? What did our union do? What did our provincial government do? Absolutely nothing. They were willing to let him die. We’re not going to sit down and die either.” click here to see more images and video,  read the story. 10:23

Day 10; Hunger Strike of Canadian Fisherman Richard Gillett – ‘Richard is very, very weak’

As Richard Gillett hits Day 10 of his hunger strike outside the Fisheries and Oceans building in St. John’s, his father wants him to stop it. His father, John Gillett, was standing outside in the misty rain on Saturday, with about 20 other protesters. “Richard is not doing well today. Richard is very, very weak,” said John Gillett. But, said John Gillett, somebody — “unfortunately, it’s my son” — has to stick up for the Newfoundland fishery. “This is a fish harvester who’s sick of kicking the can down the road and being bullied by the government, by DFO, and he’s going to be bullied out of the fishery just like a good many more people are.” (he’s right, you know. Set up to fail from poor fishery management.) click here to read the story 16:57

Day 9 – Canadian Fisherman Richard Gillett continues hunger strike protest after call from minister

Richard Gillett is weak now and growing weaker by the hour. The once burly fisherman from Twillingate, N.L., known for his three seasons on the reality TV show “Cold Water Cowboys,” has lived in a tent on a water-only diet since April 13 on the grounds of the federal Fisheries and Oceans building in St. John’s. He spoke to reporters early Friday from his cot, his eyes glazed. His wife and daughter, one of his three teenaged children, were by his side as he apologized for mental lapses on Day 9 of a hunger strike to protest what he says is dire mismanagement of fish stocks. “It takes every bit of energy now just to talk.” Gillett, 45, said he has no plans to quit despite a phone call Thursday night from Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc. “He didn’t offer me anything that was solid other than a meeting in two to three weeks’ time. And that’s certainly not enough to warrant me, after my hunger strike, to get off this hill. That’s not what I’m asking.” click here to read the story 14:52:17

Richard Gillett supporters block DFO exit as workers try to leave – click here to read the story 14:58

Newfoundland hunger strike Fisherman Richard Gillett speaks with federal fisheries minister

A spokeswoman for Dominic LeBlanc said the fisheries minister spoke with Richard Gillett for more than an hour on Thursday evening, covering a broad range of issues. Laura Gareau said the two agreed to speak again, adding that LeBlanc expressed concern for Gillett’s health, and urged him to make his health and family a priority. About three dozen protesters went to the federal fisheries office in St. John’s, N.L., on Thursday morning to show support for Gillett, who has been on a hunger strike since last Thursday. Gareau said LeBlanc also expressed concern that the protest prevented nearly 400 Department of Fisheries and Oceans employees from getting to work, interrupting their ability to serve fish harvesters across Newfoundland and Labrador. click here to read the story 00:50

Day 8: Richard Gillett hunger strike – Gillett joined by two-dozen supporters

As the eighth day Richard Gillett’s hunger strike began Thursday morning, he was joined by over two dozen of his fellow fish harvesters.  While the demonstration was peaceful in nature, the protestors were stopping Department of Fisheries and Ocean Employees from entering the road leading the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre. There were few vehicles to impede, however, as DFO management had already planned a delayed opening and decided just after 8:30 a.m. to keep the building closed until noon. RNC officers were briefly on the scene to speak with Gillett and his supporters. click here to read the story 11:44

‘It’s breaking my heart’: Richard Gillett’s father among fishermen supporting hunger strikerclick to read the story and a short video 13:27

Day 7 – Newfoundland Fisherman Richard Gillett says he’s prepared to die on hunger strike against Ottawa

Celebrity Newfoundland fisherman Richard Gillett hasn’t eaten for nearly a week, and says he’s prepared to die for his protest over fisheries management.Gillett starred three seasons on the reality TV series “Cold Water Cowboys,” but is now living in a tent at federal fisheries headquarters in St. John’s. He has slept there six nights and says he has consumed just water since starting his protest on Thursday. Gillett’s demands include a teleconference meeting with federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc and an independent review of science and management for all provincial fish stocks. His father, John Gillett, says his diabetic son has had past heart issues and, though he supports his cause, wants him to eat. A spokeswoman for LeBlanc says the minister is not available to discuss the hunger strike or other recent protests about the fishery. Link 15:47

Day 6 – The hunger strike of Canadian Fisherman Richard Gillett continues

While Richard Gillett’s accommodations along the side of East White Hills Road have improved, his physical and mental state is headed in the other direction. Gillett, a Twillingate fisherman and vice-president of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL), is five days into a hunger strike outside the entrance to the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre. He is protesting what he considers mismanagement of Newfoundland and Labrador fish harvesting operations by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and its relationship with the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union.,, Also on Monday, Gillett had a meeting with two representatives from DFO, a senior scientist and a member of senior management. The meeting, he says, was nothing more than “lip service” and an effort to gauge his level of determination and the expected turnout of supporters on Tuesday morning when federal employees return to work following the Easter long weekend. click here to read the story 10:50

Easter Sunday marks the fourth day of Canadian Fisherman Richard Gillett’s hunger strike.

The vice-president of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) set up camp in front of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans headquarters in St. John’s on Thursday. One of Gillett’s requests is a meeting with Dominic LeBlanc, the federal minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, to ask for an independent review of science and management at DFO. “Up until right now we haven’t heard anything from Minister LeBlanc,” Gillett said. Gillett said he thinks the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador is close to extinction. click here to read the story 17:25

Twillingate Fisherman Richard Gillett enters Day 2 of hunger strike: ‘If I can’t fish, I’m no good to no one’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Friday, April 14th, 2017 – Richard Gillett, an inshore fish harvester from Twillingate and Vice-President of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL), began a hunger strike Thursday afternoon on the grounds of DFO’s NL headquarters in St. John’s. Gillett’s demands include: a meeting with the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Dominic LeBlanc,  and his assurance of an independent review of DFO science/management; as well as an independent review of the relationship between DFO and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union. “Enough is enough,” says Gillett, “This is a desperate situation that needs to be looked into right now. The industry is in the worse mess it’s ever been in,” says Gillett, who’s been drinking only water since Thursday afternoon. “DFO science has been gutted and the management system we have today, when most of our fisheries are in crisis, is the same one that we had back in ’92 when the cod moratorium came down. And the FFAW, which is supposedly our union, stopped standing up for fishermen long ago and got in bed with DFO.” “If I can’t fish I’m no good to no one. I’m no good to myself. I’m no good to my family. I’m no good to my friends. I was meant to fish.” On Tuesday, April 11, Gillett, along with Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL, travelled to Ottawa and met with five of NL’s Liberal MPs, including: Gudie Hutchings, Yvonne Jones, Ken McDonald, Scott Simms and Nick Whalen. The MPs called the meeting to discuss the current fisheries crisis. click here to read the press release, and FISH-NL’s presentation 08:26