Editor’s Notebook 113 results

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 ...

Combatting Seafood Processing Worker Shortages

The seafood industry in Atlantic Canada has an ongoing problem and it has nothing to do with quotas or fish prices. The issue of course is lack of workers and unfortunately for processors around the region, this problem is showing no signs of getting better. And if you listen to some stakeholders, it is only going to continue to get worse before it gets better. So, how do you start to make it better? A few years ago, The Navigator highlighted a 2019 study by Food Processing Skills Canada ...

IUU Fishing: Far From a Foreign Problem

With everything going in the fishery throughout Atlantic Canada, oftentimes, it is hard to take a step back and look at the global fishing picture — after all, don’t we have enough to worry about here? However, once and while, it is a worthwhile practice to pause for a second and compare our various fisheries here with others being prosecuted around the world. While we always have our issues, for the most part, our commercial fisheries are well run, with conservation and the future top ...

From Rhetoric to Real Issues

A little over a year ago, The Navigator took a deep dive into the mandate letter of newly appointed Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Canadian Coast Guard Joyce Murray. A mandate letter sets the table for the work and legislation each federal minister is expected to prioritize by their boss, the Prime Minister. After a quick peruse of Minister Murray’s mandate letter, three key points dominated the Prime Minster’s marching orders: climate, the environment and Indigenous ...

2022: A Year Not for the Record Books

As 2022 is fading out of sight in the rearview mirror, we are left shaking our collective heads thinking, what a difference a few months can make. In March of this year, the world was emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic and despite inflationary increases, things were looking up — especially for the commercial fishery in this region. At the time, lobster fishermen in lobster fishing areas (LFAs) 33–34 off Nova Scotia were getting north of $16/pound for their catches. For their brethren ...

Collective Bargaining Report a Small Step Forward

Aristotle once wrote, “How many a dispute could have been deflated into a single paragraph if the disputants had dared to define their terms.” After an embattled 2022 fishing season, with accusations flying like ocean spray in the wind, the Newfoundland and Labrador government did make an attempt to define the possible causes of this year’s harvester/processor disputes in the fishery. On July 21, N.L. Labour Minister Bernard Davis announced an independent review of the collective ...