Northern Labrador: The Forgotten People
A few generations ago, as the population of Newfoundland grew, there wasn’t enough fish to sustain us all, so we started building schooners, not only to fish the Grand Banks, but to migrate further north.
We moved north to a thousand miles of coastline with sparsely populated communities on the Labrador Coast for the rich catches of cod and salmon. Many built fishing rooms called stations where they would return with their families every year, shipping their fish back to the Island each ...
Fish Audit Confirms Fish Negligence
A new fish audit released by Oceana Canada confirms, yet again, that the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery is being basically abandoned by the federal government.
The current audit exposes that Canada is failing the wild fisheries from coast to coast — with just one third considered to be healthy. The findings include the fact that nearly one in five stocks are critically depleted, including the Northern cod. Nearly 80 per cent of stocks lack a rebuilding plan and the health of a third of ...
Weak Rope Policy Puts Harvester Lives and Livelihoods at Risk
When a bureaucrat in Ottawa formulates a policy about fishing gear in Newfoundland and Labrador without first consulting with fish harvesters in the province, that policy is established in ignorance.
That is exactly what is happening with the Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s (DFO) new “weak rope” policy that it plans to implement in 2023.
The weak rope policy is the result of the possible impact that the death of a right whale, due to entanglement in fishing gear, could have on ...
PFHCB Rules Need to Change
I am sharing a photo (below) with you loyal Navigator readers of some of the squid that ran ashore on the beach near my fishing stage and fish store at Main Tickle, Twillingate recently.
This is not an uncommon occurrence this time of the year, but the only difference now is that years ago when we were fishing, the squid would always be picked up for bait.
In many fishing communities now, there are just one or two fishers left, their enterprises being sold out to “Big Fishing Skippers...
Fight for the Fishery or Flee the Province
If you could save and safeguard hundreds of communities in Newfoundland and Labrador, would you make that effort?
Would you make the attempt, especially, if it involved immersing yourself in understanding our fishery, past, present and future and perhaps even engaging in a fish fight?
That’s the question the Fishery Community Alliance (FCA) has been posing to endless politicians, both provincially, federally and most recently to the municipalities of Newfoundland and Labrador.
When Someone Shows You Who They Really Are, Believe Them
In this federal election, more than ever before, everyone in our coastal communities need to get out and vote.
Especially fishers and all those that depend on a vibrant, prosperous and safe fishing industry, principally in the South Shore St. Margaret’s electoral district.
Given some of their poll locations, especially in Shelburne County (from Barrington, Cape Sable Island, Shag Harbour, Bear Point, Woods Harbour to Forbes Point), the lobster fishing capital of Canada, they barely had ...
The Crisis of Our Lifetime
I grew up in the schooner days when cod was king, after being absent for a while.
I returned to the fishery in 1976 and cod was still king. In reference to cod, it was called fish and is still today by the people in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.
The year 1990 was a disastrous time — we lost our cod and turbot after long years of fishing on the spawning grounds by Canadian and foreign draggers. In the winter of 1991, the Canadian draggers went to the Grand Banks looking for cod and ...
PM Should Honour his Father’s Fish Promise
A provincial fishery advocacy group, the Fishery Community Alliance (FCA), is calling upon Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to honour a commitment made by his father in 1971, as a way to help protect and rebuild depleted fish stocks off Newfoundland and Labrador that belong to the Canadian people.
I was part of a team of fishery advocates from 14 groups, the Save Our Fishery Association (SOFA), which undertook a mission to Ottawa in October 1971, to highlight the politically motivated decisions ...
Long on Fish Tales, Short on Facts
Cooper Institute Distorts the Story in P.E.I.’s Lobster Industry
As advocates for Prince Edward Island’s seafood processors, we feel compelled to respond to the recently released Safe at Work, Unsafe at Home: COVID-19 and Temporary Foreign Workers in Prince Edward Island by the Charlottetown-based Cooper Institute.
Its authors used questionable methodology to promote simplistic solutions and to disparage the reputation of our members.
Over the last decade, acute labour ...
Will Seals Decide the Future of Rural N.L.?
The recorded number of harp seals in the North Atlantic, up to 1982, was 2.2 million.
At that time, with the implementation of the 200-mile-limit, the inshore fishery had rebounded somewhat and fishermen were making a living, rural Newfoundland and Labrador was doing very well. Many fishermen were making a living off lobster, herring, squid and salmon, fishing out of an 18-foot boat.
Enter the bleeding hearts and movie stars who decided to make a name for themselves by interfering with ...