Opinion 60 results

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 ...

The Universal Law of Sustainability

In the editorial of The Navigator (Vol. 20, No 12, December, p. 4) it was stated “There is an argument being made now that a modern fishery should be managed as a whole, not by individual stocks.” One way a fishery could be “managed as a whole” is by guiding the trial and error management of a fishery by universal laws. That is by laws that apply to the whole fishery. Let me illustrate this idea by reference to the traditional management of the 145-plus year-old inshore Maritime ...

Current Fisheries Policy Damaging Industry

Just a little over a year ago, the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour came out swinging against FISH-NL. The head of the federation of labour, Mary Shortall, said FISH-NL was raiding one of its member unions and the federation was completely against it. Shortall said all of the federation’s member unions were standing in solidarity with the FFAW-Unifor. The fact that FISH-NL was formed because a significant number of the FFAW-Unifor’s fish harvester membership was totally ...

Core or Non-Core, We Are Fishermen Too

As a fisherman in (NAFO Area) 3L, I am not only writing this on my behalf, but for other fisherman around the island who find themselves in the same situation that I am in. Although I have fished for the better part of my life as a crewmember, I am considered non-core. When the fishery was primarily a cod fishery around the island back in the 70s and 80s, a lot of crewmembers fished on boats that probably belonged to some member of their family and that was considered the norm. No one ...