Opinion 63 results

The More Things Change, the More They Remain the Same

The announcement recently that the Grand Bank surf clam fishery is going to be downgraded because the federal Minister of Fisheries Dominic LeBlanc decided to take quota away from Newfoundland and Labrador and give to the Indigenous people of other provinces should not be a surprise. Remember Gail Shea? They all do it. It makes for great politics and there is nothing we can do about it. We found out approximately 27 years ago what Minister Gerry Byrne announced a few weeks ago. Remem...

GEAC Attempting to Discredit N.L. Inshore Sector

I feel compelled to respond to the letter submitted to the May issue of The Navigator by Kris Vascotto of the Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council (GEAC). Many of the issues raised by Vascotto require correction or at a minimum, clarification. In many cases, Vascotto cherry picked information and made an attempt to discredit the inshore sector of the fishing industry in this province. The Newfoundland and Labrador Groundfish Industry Development Council (GIDC) is a recently-establi...

FFAW President Refutes Content of GEAC’s Northern Cod-Related Letter

I am writing in response to Kris Vascotto’s letter entitled, Northern Cod: Focusing on Facts and Science to Protect the Future, that appeared in the May issue of The Navigator. The title chosen contains a fair amount of irony, as the letter itself relied on nothing more than falsehoods and finger pointing in an attempt to further the divisive messaging driven by the organization Mr. Vascotto represents, the Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council (GEAC). First, let’s be clear on who ...

Those Criticizing Arctic Clam Award are Ignoring History of the Fishery

I feel compelled to write to you to provide some clarification on a number of items related to the Arctic surf clam fishery that I feel are not being presented in recent news articles. These show, in my opinion, that the Minister of Fisheries, Dominic LeBlanc, made an informed and correct decision and that some of the claims being made about the negative impacts of this decision are being overstated in an effort to undermine the minister’s decision. What is not being reported is the ...

Northern Cod: Focusing on Facts and Science to Protect the Future

In March, word of a single-year 30 per cent decline in Northern cod attracted the attention of media, scientists and environmental groups from around the globe. The world was clearly watching Canada’s management of this stock. It was quite telling to see how various stakeholders responded. From a scientific perspective, I was disappointed but not surprised with the dramatic decline. Since 2015, our organization, the Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council (GEAC), has repeatedly ...

FISH-NL Issues Warning to DFO on Changes to Harvester Registration in Atlantic Canada

The following letter was addressed to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) — National Fisheries Policy Office in Ottawa.   As FISH-NL warns the Government of Canada to proceed with extreme caution and to revisit changes implemented years ago in Newfoundland and Labrador because of the conflict of interest created between the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board (PFHCB) and FFAW-Unifor, the union that currently represents inshore fish harvesters in collective ...

Stop Putting the Cart Before the Horse

There is an old saying that describes the current push to revitalize the industry that this province was founded on. The industry I am referring to is the inshore fishery and the old saying is “putting the cart before the horse.” While I do have some respect for an initiative that is attempting to ease the pain caused by the declines in shellfish stocks, I am troubled by the complete lack of attention given to the reason we find ourselves in repetitive boom and bust cycles. It appears ...

Philosophical Change in Groundfish Management Needed

In the Letters to the Editor section of The Navigator (Vol. 21, No. 1, January 2018), I suggested a fishery could be managed as a whole and gave the example of the trial and error management of the whole inshore Maritime lobster fishery by the Universal Law of Sustainability. This management as a whole is possible because a law of science makes a negative prediction. In the philosophy of science this negative prediction is modelled by a universal law such as all swans are white. That is, ...

Cod: Building the Fishery of the Future

It was my distinct pleasure to attend the two-day cod workshop in Gander on November 28 and 29, 2017. We are indeed fortunate in this province to have a unique teaching/industry hub in the Marine Institute. The staff of this Institute and the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation had put together a very effective two-day forum of cod industry speakers. The material presented on the United States cod market by the Icelandic and Norwegian speakers was revealing. There is just “no ...

This Province Needs More Entrepreneurs Like Pat Quinlan

After writing so many letters over the years about the fishery and rural N.L., I would be remiss if I didn’t write this one. Pat Quinlan, Nov. 8, 1929 – Dec. 15, 2017. Although I didn’t know Pat personally, I knew a lot about him. He is one of the outstanding Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who have kept this province alive by investing a lot of time and money into the inshore fishery and rural N.L. and I hope the family carries on his tradition. There are many more in this ...