Lately there seems to be more news stories about problems in the fishery then there are rodents at the Robin Hood Bay landfill.
The province is blaming Canada, the provincial parties are blaming each other and the FFAW-Unifor is blaming everyone but themselves for the mismanagement of our fisheries.
The root cause of the problems with our inshore fishery today is it is micromanaged to a level that a fish harvester cannot go to the washroom without permission.
Whether it be for a new species, an abundant species or a species deemed to be in the critical zone, there are more layers of management in Newfoundland Labrador than there are Unifor members in the public service of Canada.
There are more committees, license conditions, fees, FFAW management and science projects in the inshore fishery than there are cod to catch.
Inshore fish harvesters are divided more by an ever-growing number of geographic boundaries, species, vessel class and a multitude of other divisive criteria than at any time in this province’s 500-plus year history.
The cause of all this is the FFAW-Unifor. The union created divisions after the cod moratorium and it has been finding more ways to separate fish harvesters and communities practically every year since then.
The time is long overdue for all provincial and national political parties to ensure that control of our fisheries is removed from the bureaucrats at the FFAW-Unifor.
Our provincial minister of fisheries, in a recent news article, blamed Ottawa for fisheries management failures. Immediately following that news item, the provincial fisheries critic with the PC party then blamed the provincial Liberals for the failures. To do this, both the Liberals and the PCs are simply ignoring the reality.
If our provincial fisheries minister and our provincial fisheries critic want to learn the real cause of most of our inshore fishery problems, all they have to do is talk to inshore fish harvesters. It is a well-known fact that about 50 per cent of them believe the FFAW-Unifor is contributing to or is the main cause of problems in the fishery.
With friends like the FFAW-Unifor, this province’s inshore fish harvesters and rural Newfoundland Labrador surely does not need enemies.
Signed a former FFAW staff person and a very concerned citizen of rural Newfoundland Labrador.
Portugal Cove-St. Philips