Tag Archives: Ryan Cleary

Days of chopping off fishing boats over; DFO to increase maximum inshore vessel length to 49’11

“The days of chopping off boats are over. This is a massive victory for inshore harvesters in what is now the under 40’ fleet,” says Jason Sullivan, President of SEA-NL, and Bay Bulls-based inshore owner-operator. “We have fought DFO in this province and the FFAW for years to be treated the same as the rest of Atlantic Canada in terms of vessel length, and today we finally have a victory that puts the safety and lives of inshore harvesters first.” The news was announced this morning by Avalon MP Ken McDonald, chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, who, along with SEA-NL and FISH-NL before it, fought for years to change the vessel-length policy. >click to read< 10:53

An open invitation to the public – Event to mark the 30th anniversary of northern cod moratorium

An event to mark the 30th anniversary of the announced shutdown of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most iconic fishery is scheduled for next week, with an open invitation to the public to support and share in the historic milestone. “The impact of the moratorium has had a deep and profound impact on the province’s psyche, culture, and economy,” says Ryan Cleary, one of the organizers of the non-partisan event — Moratorium Story, Northern Cod 30 Years On. “It must be recognized for the good of past and future generations.” The event is scheduled for Thursday, June 30th, 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., in Salon B at the Delta Hotel in downtown St. John’s, the same room where the late John Crosbie, then-federal minister of Fisheries and Oceans, made the announcement on July 2, 1992. >Details, click to read< 14:14

Fisherman who vowed to dump shrimp if no buyer stepped forward has found one,,, in Nova Scotia

The La Scie inshore fisherman who vowed to dump his first load of northern shrimp for the season if he couldn’t sell the catch has found a buyer across the Gulf in Nova Scotia. “Thank God we don’t have to dump it,” says Ryan, who operates the fishing enterprise, F/V Atlantic Blue Too, with his son Josh, the skipper and license holder. “A Nova Scotia buyer has agreed to purchase the shrimp for significantly more than buyers are willing to pay here.” Most of the province’s shrimp fleets in the Gulf and off the east coast have yet to untie this season, despite the fact the spring price was set on April 24th, and the fishery opened on May 29th. >click to read< 08:04

SEA-NL demands province allow inshore fleet to truck snow crab out of province

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) demands the provincial government allow owner-operators to truck snow crab out of province given some local processors have stopped buying. “If processors will not buy snow crab then fishermen who can find mainland buyers must be able to truck out their crab or the entire industry will shut down,” says Jason Sullivan, President of SEA-NL and a Bay Bulls fisherman. “There are no jobs left to protect.” At least two processing companies, Notre Dame Seafoods and Quinlan’s, reportedly stopped buying crab on Friday. >click to continue< 11:21

Fisherman who vowed to dump shrimp if no buyer found suffers vessel breakdown, threat stands

The La Scie fisherman who vowed to dump his first load of northern shrimp for the season if there was no buyer returned to port today without any catch after his fishing boat suffered mechanical problems at sea. But Terry Ryan says he expects the Atlantic Bluefin Too will be repaired as early as Friday, and he plans to follow through with his pledge. “Full-steam ahead,” says Ryan, who operates the enterprise with his son, Josh, the skipper and licence-holder. Terry Ryan threatened to dump their first load of shrimp at an estimated loss of $100,000 if there’s no buyer when the catch landed as a protest of the province’s panel system of fish pricing. >click to read< 15:14

Shrimp fisherman prepared to dump 50,000-pound catch if processors not prepared to buy it

Terry Ryan of La Scie, who together with his son Josh operate the Atlantic Bluefin Too, vows the boat will start fishing shrimp on Saturday, and if there’s no buyer for the 50,000/lbs they expect to have aboard by late Sunday/early Monday when the vessel returns to port, the catch will be dumped as a means to shake up the fishery and get it going. The spring shrimp price was set at $1.42/lb on April 24th, and Fisheries and Oceans opened the fishery on Sunday, May 29th (after public complaints by Terry Ryan on VOCM Open Line/The Broadcast), but the inshore fleet has yet to untie because processors say the price is too high.  Which leads back to the increasingly popular question: what’s the good of the government-appointed price-setting panel? >click to read< 07:46

SEA-NL on increase in snow crab processing capacity

“More competition in the processing sector should mean more opportunity for inshore boats to land crab quotas faster, with less expense, and safer for all hands,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. The province’s Fish Processing Licensing Board today approved two of four applications for fish processing licenses — including a new primary processing license for groundfish, whelk, and snow crab (2.5 million/lbs) for St. Mary’s Bay Fisheries Ltd., and doubling the amount of crab Dandy Dan’s Fish Market of Argentia can purchase to two million pounds per year. >click to read< 11:29

SEA-NL calls for public inquiry into fishing vessel safety, search and rescue

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador is calling for a joint, federal/provincial commission of inquiry into fishing vessel safety, and search and rescue response in this province to investigate why incidents and deaths at sea are on the rise. “There is no greater indictment of serious, systemic problems with fishing vessel safety and search and rescue than the rise in mariner deaths,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “Fishing is already one of the most dangerous occupations in the world without lax government oversight increasing those risks.” > click to read < 13:30

SEA-NL supports province issuing new snow crab processing licenses

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador supports the issuance of new snow crab processing licenses as the quickest way to increase industry capacity and reduce pressure on the inshore fleet to fish in potentially unsafe conditions. “We see more processing licenses as the quickest way to take pressure off the inshore fleet,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s executive director. “More competition in the processing sector should mean more opportunity for inshore boats to land crab quotas faster, with less expense, and safer for all hands.” “More crab processing capacity will take pressure off the inshore fleet, and that’s the bottom line for SEA-NL,”  >click to read< 14:20

Impact of foreign overfishing as bad as seals; must also be addressed

SEA-NL congratulates the Government of Canada for finally recognizing that seals eat fish but reminds Ottawa that foreign overfishing on/off the Grand Banks is as destructive as ever to commercial stocks. “Seals aren’t the only killer of fish stocks,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “It’s still the wild west outside the 200-mile limit in terms of overfishing by foreign factory-freezer draggers.” Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Joyce Murray said Thursday more research is needed on the impact of seals on dwindling East Coast fish stocks in response to a report that said DFO’s science doesn’t go far enough. DFO, however, must consider all factors, including foreign overfishing, on the health of battered East Coast fish stocks. >click to read< 13:16

Portuguese dragger again accused of illegal fishing on Grand Banks; NAFO can’t enforce quotas

A Portuguese offshore factory-freezer dragger has been accused for the fifth time in six years of illegal fishing on/near the Grand Banks, hammering home, yet again, that the enforcement regime that oversees foreign fleets outside Canada’s 200-mile limit is a joke (on Newfoundland and Labrador). The latest accusation (not actual court charge) against the F/V Nova Virgem Da Barca was issued on March 28th when enforcement officers from the Canadian Coast Guard ship Cygnus boarded the dragger on the tail of the Banks (fishing zone 3N) where she was fishing redfish. The officers issued a “notice of infringement” against the captain for misreporting catches, with “supporting documentation from the inspection and infringement forwarded to the European Union for investigation and follow-up.” Canada cannot charge a foreign dragger with illegal fishing. >NAFO<>click to read< 15:42

Trip limits must be addressed in Newfoundland and Labradors snow crab fishery

SEA-NL is demanding Premier Andrew Furey address trip limits in the snow crab fishery or his government may have blood on its hands before the end of the fishing season. “The inshore fleet has one of the most dangerous jobs without trip limits adding to the risk,” says Ryan Cleary, Executive Director of SEA-NL. “Trip limits put pressure on enterprise owners — who are also dealing with the threat of a price drop, and fishery closures in the case of molting or soft-shell crab — to fish in weather they would not ordinarily fish in,” he said. “If government stands idly by and lives are lost this crab fishing season the province will have to answer for them directly.” >click to read< 15:09

The Federal Competition Act

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to include fish pricing in the Federal Competition Act with planned amendments to the legislation. “The only industry in Canada excluded from the Federal Competition Act is the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery, and the inshore fleet pays the price in terms of less money for their fish,” says Ryan Cleary, Executive Director of SEA-NL. In the federal budget released earlier this month, the Trudeau government revealed plans to make amendments to toughen Canadian competition laws. >click to read< 15:42

Mackerel fishery closed, but inshore fleet still wants their licenses

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) is calling on Fisheries and Oceans to continue issuing mackerel licenses to existing license holders in the inshore fleet even though the fishery is closed. “Owner-operators want to know their mackerel licenses are safe and will be there for them when the fishery reopens,” says Ryan Cleary, Executive Director of SEA-NL. “Many of them do not trust DFO, there’s no other way to put it.” “A mackerel license represents a major investment of many thousands of dollars — not just for the license itself — but in terms of the fishing enterprise and gear, and owner-operators want to keep their licenses even if it is just for the privilege of not fishing them.” >click to read< 10:13

Northern cod 30 years after the moratorium: Confederation’s greatest shame

As the 30th anniversary of the northern cod moratorium looms, DFO cannot say with certainty whether the at-sea fall survey will be completed this year, the small-scale inshore fishery limps on with an average price of 64¢/lb, and the number of active enterprises has fallen to 1,259 — a shadow of the fishery’s glory days when the stock supported 30,000-40,000 workers. On the plus side, scientists with Fisheries and Oceans finally acknowledge that seals “undoubtedly” have an impact on cod — just not as huge as the lack of caplin (which seals also eat by the millions of pounds, but one DFO baby step at a time). >click to read< 08:02

Russian head of NAFO has stepped down; country must be expelled/fish quotas transferred to Ukraine

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) says it’s not enough that the Russian president and chair of the international organization that manages fish stock inside and outside Canada’s 200-mile limit has stepped down. The Russian Federation itself must be expelled from the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, with the country’s thousands of tonnes of quotas transferred to the Ukraine, another member of the 13-country organization. “Russia has violated every protocol on the face of the earth with its war on Ukraine, and its membership in NAFO should be cancelled outright, and its fish quotas transferred,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “Russian seafood is banned around the world, so it stands to reason that its offshore dragger fleet should not be permitted to fish as a NAFO-member country.” >click to read< 11:50

SEA-NL calls for Derek Butler’s resignation from Association of Seafood Producers

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, representing owner-operators in the inshore fleet, is calling for the resignation of the executive director of the association representing buyers/processors after publicly criticizing the province’s snow crab resource. “Derek Butler said on NTV News Tuesday that our snow crab is second-rate compared to product from the Maritimes, worth 30% less,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “For the spokesman for seafood companies in this province to say that publicly shows poor judgement and reflects poorly on what is the best snow crab in the world. He must no longer speak for industry.” >click to read< 13:36

Should Russia be kicked out of NAFO; its trawler fleet banned from fishing outside Canadian waters?

There’s a case for it considering Canada has closed its airspace to Russian aircraft, and even a call by hockey legend Wayne Gretzky for Russia to be banned from the rescheduled World Juniors this summer in Alberta as a consequence for the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Offshore trawlers from the Russian Federation have access to thousands of tonnes of quota a year in the NAFO zone, including redfish, turbot, and skate. Kicking Russia out of NAFO and banning its offshore draggers from the area (if that’s possible), could be another message to President Vladimir Putin that his invasion of the Ukraine is unacceptable. Below are the NAFO quota tables for 2022, including a breakdown of fish set aside for Russia. >click to read< 09:34

SEA-NL calls for third-party investigation into DFO NL

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to order an independent investigation of the operations of the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans in the province amid alarming allegations of political interference raised by the CBC. “DFO’s last shred of credibility in this province is on the line,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s interim Executive Director. “The allegations by the union representing DFO scientists not only call into question the department’s faith in itself, but what little faith inshore harvesters and all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have left in DFO to manage the wild commercial fisheries.” >click to read< 10:48

SEA-NL says bottom-trawling must be banned from all three adjacent cod stocks (not just two)

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) has recommended that Fisheries and Oceans expand its ban on bottom-trawling to include all three cod stocks off the province’s shores. “Fisheries and Oceans cannot scientifically justify banning bottom-trawling for cod in two adjacent stocks when all three are in the critical zone,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s interim Executive Director. DFO allows for bottom-trawling of the cod stock off southern Newfoundland in fishing zone 3Ps. However, bottom-trawling is banned in the northern cod fishery off eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, and for cod in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. All three cod stocks have been designated by DFO science as in the critical zone, meaning fishing must be kept to a minimum. >click to read< 12:06

SEA-NL: Standing Fish Price Setting Panel

SEA-NL says an immediate priority for the 2022 inshore fishery is for the province to amend its fish price-setting system to address a weakness that cost harvesters untold millions of dollars in last year’s snow crab fishery alone. “Inshore harvesters were not paid a fair-market return from their snow crab sales in 2021 because a provincial government regulation stood in the way,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s interim Executive Director. “The regulation must be amended before the start of the 2022 season, or what little faith that exists in the price-setting system will be gone altogether.”>click to read< 08:05

DFO responds to Ryan Cleary’s allegations of a ‘backroom’ plan 

The interim executive director of Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador accused the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of orchestrating a “backroom” plan to rebuild the cod stock off southern Newfoundland and exclude the voice of inshore harvesters. According to Cleary, DFO has assembled a working group, made up of DFO and FFAW union officials, fish processors, indigenous interests and the offshore, sector to develop a rebuilding plan for cod in the 3Ps fishing zone. An official for DFO, however, says when DFO established the working group they invited members of the 3Ps Groundfish Advisory Committee to participate. >click to read< 13:32

SEA-NL condemns DFO’s backroom plans for rebuilding south coast cod stock

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) accuses Fisheries and Oceans of orchestrating a “backroom” plan to rebuild the cod stock off southern Newfoundland and exclude the voice of inshore harvesters. “Any rebuilding attempt that does not include the input of the inshore fleet is doomed,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s interim Executive Director. “When DFO leaves inshore harvesters out of the equation they get the math and science wrong, and the department is doing it again.” >click to read< 10:37

DFO’s vessel length restrictions are hurting business and putting fish harvesters’ lives at risk

Patey’s Venture has the look of a well-designed fishing boat, with smooth flanks meeting a nicely-curved bow. Yet there’s something amiss, an anomaly that’s as impossible to ignore as a missing tooth in an open-mouthed smile. For the Pateys, who needed a boat with some extra deck space to handle crab pots, it was more economical to buy and reconfigure a used boat than invest in a new boat. The Pateys had a licence that put them in the under-40 LOA class. Patey spent several thousand dollars to eliminate those two feet,  “Our boat was an excellent boat. And when we … followed the regulations set by DFO we made her worse than she was,” photos, >click to read< 11:10

Hundreds of thousands of pounds of herring dumped last week due to backward DFO policy

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador condemns the Department of Fisheries and Oceans policy that allowed for the dumping of hundreds of thousands of pounds of herring last week alone. “Any DFO policy that allows for the dumping of fish is a backward policy that must end immediately,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s interim Executive Director. “Fishermen should be permitted to land the herring they catch, with the total amount subtracted from the overall quota.” Herring fishermen here in the province say hundreds of thousands of pounds were dumped last week alone as the result of federal policy that sets the small-fish tolerance at 20%. >click to read< 12:35

SEA-NL calls on new federal Fisheries and Oceans minister to investigate allegations ‘pirate’ draggers destroying Grand Banks

“Canada may have the toughest fishery enforcement within its own waters, but as long as it’s a free-for-all once migratory stocks swim over the imaginary line that is the 200-mile limit those efforts are in vain,” says Ryan Cleary, Interim Executive Director of Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. “Fisheries and Oceans Minister Joyce Murray must investigate the magnitude of the overfishing, and take immediate actions to stop it,” said Cleary. “This is not just about Newfoundland and Labrador, but a national food-security issue, as well as propelling a blue economy. >click to read< 10:33

‘Pirate trawlers’ destroying Grand Banks under DFO’s nose, says Captain of Faroe Islands longliner

The captain of a Faroese longliner says “pirate” factory-freezer trawlers are destroying the Grand Banks by directing for moratorium species such as cod and other illegal fishing activities. While Fisheries and Oceans is said to be aware of what’s happening, Capt. Christian Mathisen says enforcement officials have told him their hands are tied because Covid-19 protocols Covid-19 protocols from boarding and inspecting the huge foreign draggers. photos, >click to read< 15:08

Quebec joins Nova Scotia in seeking historical share of redfish quota

Companies from Quebec hold a little under one-third of the offshore quota, while it’s around 50 per cent in Nova Scotia. The fishery was effectively shut down to protect the species in 1995. However, a now booming population is about to set off a huge harvest in an area known as Unit 1, which encompasses the Gulf of St. Lawrence and portions of the Cabot Strait. Quebec said it’s essential for the federal government to maintain the historical share of quota when large-scale fishing resumes in several years, even if the industry there is not ready. >click to read< 09:14

SEA-NL calls on Premier to draw line in sand for province’s inshore fleet over Gulf redfish

SEA-NL is calling on Premier Andrew Furey to take a stand for the province’s inshore fleet to ensure the sector is the primary beneficiary of the adjacent and exploding redfish stock in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. “Redfish could be to the inshore fleet what Hibernia was to the oil industry, but Premier Furey must draw a line in the sand to get us there,” says Ryan Cleary, interim Executive Director of Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. >click to read< 13:17

Full Steam Ahead! SEA-NL founding convention is scheduled for Nov. 18-19th in Gander

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) — a new group formed to represent the province’s more than 3,000 licensed, independent owner-operator fish harvesters — has scheduled its founding convention for Nov. 18-19th at Gander’s Quality Hotel. “It’s full-steam ahead for SEA-NL,” says Ryan Cleary, interim-Executive Director. “Enterprise owners will finally get their own distinct voice in the industry they drive, and, ultimately, achieve a direct say in all decisions that impact their enterprises.” >click to read< 10:14