Letters to the Editor 14 results

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. The ...

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 ...

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 ...

A Very Sordid Fish Tale

Grab a seat and I will share with you a fishy tale that haunts our shores. To begin with, Newfoundland and Labrador was once a major fish exporting nation. In fact, when we joined Confederation in 1949, our abundant fish resource elevated Canada from 14th place in the world as a fish-exporting nation to 6th. Today, we have hit rock bottom when it comes to the fishery. Canada has not rebuilt our fish resource, despite approaching 30 years after a devastating groundfish moratorium. We ...

SFA 6 Shrimp TAC Needs to be Revisited

Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Bernadette Jordan on May 25, 2021.   I write regarding the recent decision by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to institute a year-over-year limit of 15 per cent on increases to the total allowable catch (TAC) in shrimp fishing area (SFA) 6 off southern Labrador and northeastern Newfoundland. There is no mention in DFO’s Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) for Northern shrimp of such a year-ove...

Put the Fishery on the Political Agenda

There hasn’t been much talk during the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election about expanding jobs in the fishery. Including such topics as limiting the concentration of enterprises and quotas in corporate or individual fishers’ hands, while making it so difficult for aspiring entrants to take over an existing enterprise, thus adding nail after nail to the coffin of fishing villages. As far as I know, in Prince Edward Island, there is no equivalent of the Professional Fish ...

Former Fishery Officer Reflects on Current Lobster Dispute

Rewind to the years 1999 and 2000. After the Supreme Court of Canada’s Marshall I and II decisions in September and November 1999, the Canadian Government spent nearly $600 million buying back commercial fishing licences from commercial fishermen and turning them over to First Nations along with boats, fishing gear and training. At the time, this was supposed to integrate native communities into the commercial fisheries and satisfy the moderate livelihood requirements in the Supreme ...

We Are All Treaty People

Sierra Club Calls on Canada to Uphold Peace and Friendship Treaties and Mi’kmaq Right to Fish   The Sierra Club Canada Foundation condemns the racism that Indigenous people are experiencing as they practice their right to fish in Nova Scotia and stands in solidarity with the Mi’kmaq in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation. Sierra Club calls on the Government of Canada to act immediately to uphold its obligations under the Peace and Friendship Treaties and recognized by the ...

All Stakeholders Must be at Table to Resolve Lobster Dispute

We have spent generations being the steward of this resource, protecting it through conservation measures and building the industry. Three generations of my family have lived through poverty and winters, where a moderate livelihood was simply being able to borrow enough money to survive. Years ago, anyone could get into the fishing industry if they wanted to. But no one wanted to be a poor fisherman. My grandfather’s gear cost 25 cents and he toiled long and hard for next to nothing for ...

Navigating Troubled Waters

The current situation in Southwest Nova Scotia is very troubling. But by the same token, it is entirely predictable. Two groups are in dispute and each takes guidance from the two Marshall Decisions. The Indigenous fishermen naturally take the broad and general recognition of a right to fish commercially for a “moderate income” and the commercial fishermen rely on the follow-up “clarification” to the initial decision which stipulates that the right is not unlimited and is a ...