Tag Archives: Ryan Cleary

N.L. inshore crab boats accuse Royal Greenland of giving them the cold shoulder

In a crab fishing season that has been contentious from the start, allegations continue to be levelled by Newfoundland and Labrador fish harvesters against processing companies. The latest accusation is against Royal Greenland, the Danish-owned company that owns three processing plants in the province. A handful of harvesters took to social media in recent days, posting on the Fishermen’s Forum Facebook Page, that Royal Greenland has been refusing to buy crab from some boats in the under 40 ft fleet. However, Simon Jarding, manager of Royal Greenland operations in Newfoundland and Labrador, says those allegations are not accurate. >click to read< 12:21

SEA-NL relaunches Pot to Plate; public encouraged to buy snow crab from inshore boats at the wharf

SEA-NL has relaunched its Pot to Plate program to connect inshore boats directly with the public interested in buying snow crab for personal consumption.  “Pot to Plate won’t take a dent out of this year’s 121 million/lb crab quota — that’s not what the program is about,” says Pam Patten, a Fortune-based inshore enterprise owner and President of SEA-NL.  “Pot to Plate will help build local markets around the province, reintroduce our people to buying seafood at the wharf, and put some cash in the pockets of the inshore fleet — particularly smaller boats,” Patten adds. SEA-NL announced Pot to Plate on April 4th, but the program was immediately delayed due to the snow crab tie-up, which ended on May 19th. >click to read< 11:57

SEA-NL: Premier Andrew Furey government must intervene in snow crab tie-up or pay the political price

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) warns Premier Andrew Furey there will be a political cost if his Liberal administration does not urgently move to free the inshore fleet from the hostage situation with seafood processors. “The Andrew Furey government holds the chains that processors and buyers are using to hold the inshore fleet hostage,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “Owner-operators, the crews, and their families will remember if the Furey government stands by and does nothing as they’re starved out.” >click to read the press release< 12:12

SEA-NL demands province order ‘serious,’ sweeping review of fish-price setting system

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) demands the provincial government order a “serious” and sweeping investigation into the broken fish price-setting system after last year’s token review failed to fix it. “This province’s three largest commercial fisheries — snow crab, northern shrimp, and lobster — are all in chaos this season, and two of them for the second year in a row,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “It’s obvious that last year’s lightning fast, three-month review of the price-setting system — a review that didn’t even bother to consult with inshore enterprise owners — was a token attempt at reform by a government unwilling and unprepared to act.” >click to read< 20:09

More cracks appear in government-controlled fish-pricing system; SEA-NL demands review of lobster-pricing formula

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) demands the province review the way lobster is priced to the inshore fleet to determine whether enterprise owners are getting a fair market share. “The lobster-pricing formula pays fishermen as if their catch is being sold in the spring when the lobster may be kept in holding tanks and sold in the fall for much higher prices,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “An independent review will tell owner-operators whether they’re getting a fair market share for their lobster catches, because indications are they are not and the lobster-pricing formula is obsolete.”  >click to read the press release< 10:59

Crab season is open, but N.L.’s fishermen are staying on land — and demanding a better price

“It’s not feasible for us to be able to fish. There’s no way to do it for $2.20 a pound with the cost of everything else now,” said Chad Waterman, skipper of the Jacob & Josie, on Tuesday morning. “So we had a meeting on Saturday and we agreed for everybody to tie on and wait it out a week or two weeks or three weeks, whatever it takes to see if we can get a better price. I mean, 50 or 60 cents or an extra dollar a pound, now, is big money for rural Newfoundland, really.… We’re just getting ready now and playing the waiting game, I guess, and see what’s gonna happen going forward.” The $2.20 price — submitted by the provincial Association of Seafood Producers and accepted by the government’s price-setting panel — represents a steep drop from the near $8 per pound at the beginning of last season. >click to read< 08:08

‘This catastrophe rivals the cod moratorium’: Newfoundland crab fleets won’t fish for $2.20 a pound, FFAW is considering ‘political actions’

They’re not going to fish. That’s the promise from crab fleets in Newfoundland and Labrador Thursday, April 6, after the Fish Price Setting panel announced its decision on snow crab prices to start the season. The panel chose the offer of $2.20 a pound submitted by the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP), a 10 cent increase from their initial offer. The Fish Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) negotiating committee had suggested $3.10, lowering their original offer of $3.48. In a news release Thursday afternoon, FFAW president Greg Pretty said the decision by the panel, “has put our industry in the most precarious position it’s ever been in.” “When it comes to dollars and cents, this catastrophe rivals the cod moratorium,” he said, repeating words first spoken by inshore fish harvester Jason Sullivan during protests over quotas for the inshore fleet earlier this month in St. John’s. >click to read< 11:38

SEA-NL on 3L

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador demands DFO immediately unify inshore and offshore snow crab fishing areas off eastern Newfoundland into a single biomass, and explain to the entire inshore fleet why the department divided them in the first place. “DFO disrespects the entire inshore sector in fishing zone 3L by favouring bigger boats over smaller boats in the same fleet,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “DFO must reveal the science behinds its decision to divide the crab fishing zone in the first place,” added Cleary. “The absence of science or questionable science at best tells smaller boat owner-operators the department wants their enterprises eliminated.” >click to read the press release< 08:12

Elections and electronic logbooks; SEA-NL AGM set for Feb. 25th

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) has scheduled its first annual general meeting (AGM) for Saturday, Feb. 25th, at the Albatross Hotel in Gander, and will feature an election for a new president and regional representatives. “Nominations open today for enterprise owners willing to step up for their fleets and the future of the inshore fishery,” says Ryan Cleary, Executive Director of SEA-NL. “The leaders we need must not be bought and paid for or out for themselves but focused on the overall health and direction of the inshore as a whole.” The election of a new SEA-NL president was trigged earlier this month with the resignation of Jason Sullivan, SEA-NL’s first president elected at the 2022 founding convention. >click to read< 08:37

SEA-NL condemns FFAW-Unifor election; union credibility spent

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) condemns the election Thursday of FFAW-Unifor president Greg Pretty, saying the corrupt process undermines faith in democracy, and the union’s ability to hold governments to account. “The election reeked of hypocrisy, and the FFAW’s credibility in this province has been spent,” says Merv Wiseman, a local expert on organizational governance and a member of SEA-NL’s board of directors. “The FFAW cannot hold the federal or provincial governments to account for fisheries management when the union’s own governance is a joke to the very industry it represents.” >click to read the rest< 14:37

Outgoing FFAW president denies conflict of interest over wife’s work with Nalcor

Keith Sullivan says his departure from the Fish, Food & Allied Workers union has nothing to do with allegations his wife was in a conflict of interest over a controversial agreement with scallop harvesters 10 years ago. Ryan Cleary, the most vocal critic of Sullivan throughout his tenure as FFAW-Unifor boss, posted an article on his blog Thursday evening that raised the allegations publicly for the first time. Cleary obtained documents through access-to-information requests that show Roseann Williams who is married to Sullivan, was part of a four-person negotiating team that worked opposite the FFAW in 2012 and 2013, while Sullivan was an assistant to the union’s president. The two sides negotiated a deal to compensate fish harvesters on the Northern Peninsula over the loss of valuable scallop fishing grounds to a subsea power cable laid by Nalcor Energy. >click to read< 10:03

SEA-NL congratulates provincial Liberal Party on World Fisheries Day

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador congratulates the provincial Liberal Party on World Fisheries Day for passing resolutions to have cod declared a heritage fish, a call for search and rescue resources for Labrador, and a review of the rules to become an inshore skipper. “It’s great to see the wild commercial fisheries on the political agenda of the ruling party,” says Ryan Cleary, Executive Director of SEA-NL. “The wild fisheries are what brought us here, and the wild fisheries will keep us here. That must never be forgotten.” >click to read the rest< 19:41

SEA-NL: Seal summit fails to produce action plan

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador says while federal officials maintain Ottawa has changed its tune regarding the negative impact of seals on East Coast fish stocks, there is still no plan to address the problem. “A change in tone remains just talk without a plan to back it up,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “Until Ottawa produces a game plan with clear objectives and timelines to deal with the rising seal population, events like this week’s Seal Summit in St. John’s must be seen as window-dressing.” A two-day seal summit wrapped up Wednesday in St. John’s with an open call by federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Joyce Murray for proposals to study seals in the marine ecosystem. >click to read< 07:11

Summit or same-old, jury out on DFO’s latest move on seals: SEA-NL

Nov. 7th, 2022 – Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador will be represented at this week’s Seal Summit in St. John’s and is eager to learn whether the event will lead to clear objectives and an action plan. “DFO Minister Joyce Murray took a monumental step earlier this year by acknowledging seals eat fish, and skippers now want to hear what Ottawa is prepared to do about it?” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director.  “The next two days will reveal whether the federal government will put words to actions, and we’re going in with a positive attitude,” added Cleary, who will attend the summit with board member Merv Wiseman. >click to read the press release< 15:39

SEA-NL renews call for improved search and rescue for Labrador, federal inquiry into fishing vessel safety

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) joins in the renewed call for more search and rescue resources for Labrador and a federal inquiry into fishing vessel safety — encouraging other stakeholders like the FFAW-Unifor to do the same. “Safety at sea is a life-and-death issue that demands all hands on deck,” says Merv Wiseman, a member of SEA-NL’s board of directors, and an outspoken advocate for search and rescue/fishing vessel safety. “The lives of mariners off Labrador are as important as the lives of mariners off Newfoundland, and search and rescue resources must reflect that.” >click to read< 21:03

SEA-NL on foreign investment

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) says a provincial government review of foreign investment in the fish processing sector misses the boat entirely in terms of addressing the extent of foreign control and corporate concentration. “The report certainly has nice pictures,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “Beyond that the takeaway about foreign control and corporate concentration in the fishing industry is that Minister Derrick Bragg missed his calling as a window-dresser.” The report of foreign investment in the processing sector comes more than two years after the province approved Royal Greenland’s takeover of Quinlan Brothers and St. Anthony Seafoods in September 2020 upon recommendation of the Fish Processing Licensing Board earlier that month. >click to read< 10:11

Science fishery or FFAW quota, DFO refusal to release catch data from sentinel fisheries raises conflict of interest concerns

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador accuses Fisheries and Oceans of treating the FFAW-run, science-based sentinel cod fisheries like a commercial quota in refusing to release catch data — raises serious conflict of interest concerns. “DFO says on one hand the sentinel fisheries are for science, but on the other hand refuses to release details under federal Treasury Board guidelines for the release of commercial catch information,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “DFO seems to be saying the FFAW has a cod quota, which raises serious questions of conflict of interest between the union and inshore owner-operators.” >click to read< 15:16

SEA-NL questions results of fish pricing review when skippers weren’t involved; study wasn’t broad enough

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador questions the legitimacy of the review of the province’s broken fish price-setting system when the consultant didn’t consult inshore skippers. “The consultant didn’t hold a single meeting with the more than 3,200 licensed inshore enterprise owners in this province when their livelihoods hang on the price of fish,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “Usually when government considers changing laws they consult people, but that didn’t happen with the fish pricing review and the inshore fleet, which raises the question whether this government sees fishermen as people. That sounds as ludicrous as not including owner operators in the review of fish pricing.” >click to read< 10:22

SEA-NL applauds former fisherman’s appointment as Opposition critic for Fisheries and Oceans

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) says Conservative MP Clifford Small’s appointment as Opposition critic for Fisheries and Oceans/the Canadian Coast Guard is good news for the province’s wild fisheries. “As the son of an inshore fisherman, and a former skipper himself, Clifford Small understands the wild commercial fisheries better than any politician of any political stripe,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. >click to read< 11:02

SEA-NL recommends electronic auction pilot project for 2023 fishing season

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador recommends the introduction of an electronic auction pilot project for the 2023 fishing season to address the industry chaos of recent months and help achieve fair market share for the inshore fleet. “This province is the only jurisdiction I know of outside of China or North Korea where electronic auctions and other free-market systems are not used to set the price of fish,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “That alone tells you there’s a problem.” SEA-NL recommended an electronic auction pilot project in its recent submission to a review of the province’s legislated system of fish pricing.  >click to read< 09:16

SEA-NL Calls for Crackdown on Foreign Overfishing

SEA-NL is calling on Ottawa to address foreign overfishing. The organization says the fact that a Faroese longliner with six accusations of fishing violations within the past year was allowed to return to fishing shows that the enforcement regime outside Canadian waters is a “horrible joke”. Executive Director Ryan Cleary says the joke is on Newfoundland and Labrador as it makes no difference if the province conserves commercial stocks in their own waters when fish who leave the 200 miles are being picked off by foreign vessels. >click to read< 09:02

Multi-million dollar capelin fishery is a bust for eastern Newfoundland

The Lone Wolf is lying idle at the wharf in Hickman’s Harbour, Trinity Bay. The only sound is the lap of water against hull, the occasional screech of sea gulls flying past, hunting for food. Earlier this year the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) set a quota of around 15,000 metric tonnes for fishing zones from the south coast (area 3Ps) to the North East coast (2J, 3K and 3L zones). Inshore licenses, like the one the Marshes have, grant them just 12,000 pounds of crab. “This year we landed $82,000 worth,” she said. And that’s not a whole lot of money to pay a crew and cover the expenses of running a boat. “Last year I could fuel up my boat for $800,” she noted. “This year it costs $1600.” Capelin could have added another $30-40,000 to their seasonal revenue, making it the second most important fishery for their enterprise. But they’re not fishing it. Why not? It’s complicated. >click to read< 11:05

SEA-NL: Fish price-setting ‘fiasco’; minister did not refer complaint to labour board

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador says the province’s failure to have reports investigated that some processors may have paid less than the “binding” snow crab price further undermines government’s fish price-setting system. “Paying even one cent less than the binding price undermines government’s pricing system over the entire $1 billion-plus commercial fishing industry,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “Every other day there’s another example of how the fish pricing system in this province has become a fiasco.” Provincial Fisheries Minster Derrick Bragg told at least one enterprise owner late last month the province’s labour relations board was looking into reports that some processors were paying less than the minimum $6.15/lb snow crab price. >click to read< 13:12

SEA-NL calls for elimination of province’s farcical system of fish pricing before fisheries lost

“There is no point in government being involved in negotiating the price of fish when its appointed panel does not have the power to enforce one price or the other, and its decisions do not result in commercial fisheries,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “The existing system has collapsed with processors refusing to buy for the prices that are set, and inshore fleets remaining tied to the wharf,” he added. “Both sides must stick it out at the negotiating table until a price or contract is hammered out like with any other collective agreement.” >click to read< 16:16

Panel-system of fish pricing has collapsed: SEA-NL

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador says the panel system of fish pricing in this province has collapsed, with the panel either setting prices that will not result in a fishery, or processors ignoring prices and unilaterally setting their own. SEA-NL is calling on the provincial government to immediately step in and restore confidence in fish pricing. “The panel system has become a joke not only here in Newfoundland and Labrador, but with fishermen right around Eastern Canada laughing at us,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s executive director. In mid-May the provincial government-appointed price-setting panel set the latest price for snow crab paid to the inshore fleet at $6.15/lb. Processors refused to buy crab for that price,,, >click to read the rest< 22:31

Speakers list released for today’s event to mark 30th anniversary of northern cod moratorium

The speakers list for the event scheduled for this afternoon to mark the 30th anniversary of the announced shutdown of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most iconic fishery has been finalized. Moratorium Story, 30 Years On will include speakers Ches Crosbie, Toni Kearney, Merv Wiseman, Kimberly OrrenGus Etchegary, the Honourable Clyde Wells, Wilfred Bartlett, Amy House/Bernie Stapleton, and Mike Hearn. Biographies are included at the end of this release. Ryan Cleary will also speak and host the event, with music provided by Newfoundland folk singer Jim Payne. >click to read< 10:31

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