What Would our Great, Great Grandparents Think?
The growth, development and emergence of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island’s successful Gulf of St. Lawrence fisheries can be traced back to a resourceful and forward-thinking group of 19th century pioneers.
These pioneers realized that fishing need not only be a subsistence activity, but had immense commercial potential — not only regionally, but around the world. In the mid-to-late 1800s, a growing commercial fishery emerged from such N.B. harbours as Nipisiguit/Bathurst, Tracad...
Has Fisheries Over-Analysis Created Action Paralysis?
Has there ever been a single Canadian industry that has been subjected to more studies, papers and analyses than the commercial fishery?
Perhaps fisheries regulators in the country subscribe to the theories of American George Pólya, known by many as the father of modern mathematical problem solving.
Pólya once said that “It is better to solve one problem five different ways, than to solve five problems one way.”
The problem with the modern-day fishery is that challenges and ...
2024: Calmer Seas and Smoother Sailing Ahead?
Fishermen, not only in this region, but around the globe, are, by nature, an overly superstitious lot.
For centuries, harvesters and mariners have considered the following bad luck; whistling onboard a vessel, stepping aboard with your left foot first, starting a trip on a Friday, killing a seabird, looking back when leaving port, red-haired people, anything involving bananas, a cat washing behind its ears and countless, countless others.
Fishermen have never left anything to chance and ...
Seafood Sanction Duplicity and Double-Dealing
There have been many dates of infamy that will always be remembered throughout the vast and sorted annals of history.
Right now, whether February 24, 2022, will be included on the infamous and dubious list of “I remember what I was doing on that day,” has yet to be determined.
We are of course referring to the winter day when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his armed forces to invade neighbouring Ukraine — leading to the largest attack on a European country since the Second ...
Harvesters’ Opinions Cannot be Dismissed
Agatha Christie once said “Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that’s no reason not to give it.”
Four decades ago, Newfoundland and Labrador inshore fishermen had lots of advice to give concerning what they were witnessing on the water. Harvester after harvester were reporting that not only was the overall size of cod getting smaller, but catches were only a fraction of what they were years before — certainly before the onslaught of foreign and domestic draggers.
Chalk One Up for the Underdogs
Who says you can’t take on the federal government and win?
Lobster fishermen in nearby Maine have proven that it is still possible to take on regulators and come out on top — even if it involves something as contentious and controversial as North Atlantic right whales.
Fishermen in this region are no strangers to ever-increasing regulations surrounding endangered right whales. Over the last few years, snow crab and lobster harvesters have endured numerous fishing closures due to the ...
Words are Good But Actions are Better
The Newfoundland and Labrador fishery is no stranger to reports, studies, plans and commissions.
Over the last 50 years, there have been almost too many to list here.
It seems every government in power in recent years, whether it be federal or provincial, has appointed some group to do some study on how to improve, fix, alter, adjust, reform, adjust or find solutions to the problems facing the N.L. commercial fishery. Countless millions have been spent and literally thousands of recomme...
Securing a Path Back
Best-selling author Cinda Williams Chima once wrote “I’ve found it wise to enjoy any time of truce, while recognizing it for what it is. A truce.”
In late May, an unprecedented six-week snow crab fishing dispute finally came to an end and Newfoundland and Labrador fishermen are once again on the water, doing what they do best.
For the majority of the spring, the FFAW-Unifor and Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) were locked in a battle of wills and attrition over the price of ...
Volatility Would be an Understatement
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines irony as “the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning.”
On February 16 of this year, just two days after Valentine’s Day, the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) and the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) held a surprising, joint press conference to announce their mutual cooperation for the upcoming 2023 snow crab season.
Newly-minted FFAW President Greg Pretty and Secretary-T...
Never Underestimate the Importance of Stability
American theologian and author William G.T. Shedd once wrote “A ship is safe in harbour, but that’s not what ships are for.”
The May issue of The Navigator is always devoted to highlighting the inherent dangers faced by fishermen today, as well as practices and technology aimed at making it safer.
As has been the practice for the last few years, The Navigator’s editorial has opened with the names of fishermen that have been lost at sea. This year, due to the release of the recent ...