opinion 94 results

Floundering Like a Ship With No Rudder

When going through my files recently, I came across a letter from former Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Brian Peckford, dated Dec. 21, 1979, entitled Northern Cod Stocks. One thing in that letter that really sticks out is the statement “the government of Canada is in the process of establishing the shape of things to come.” What I can say 43 years later is things have only gotten worse with no inquiry into what happened and no plan is in place to try and restore the great cod ...

Collective Bargaining Report a Small Step Forward

Aristotle once wrote, “How many a dispute could have been deflated into a single paragraph if the disputants had dared to define their terms.” After an embattled 2022 fishing season, with accusations flying like ocean spray in the wind, the Newfoundland and Labrador government did make an attempt to define the possible causes of this year’s harvester/processor disputes in the fishery. On July 21, N.L. Labour Minister Bernard Davis announced an independent review of the collective ...

Why Isn’t DFO Managing the Deplorable State of the St. Pierre Bank Fishery?

Recently, there was a Zoom meeting between representatives of the FFAW, the offshore operators and others with respect to the deplorable state of the St. Pierre Bank fishery (3PS). That cod resource, which had a quota of 70,100 metric tonnes (MTs) when Canada extended fisheries jurisdiction to 200 miles in 1978, is now at 1,300 tonnes. Several fishing operators from the mainland, trawlers from Newfoundland and Labrador and many inshore operators have been fishing there since 1978. The ...

Calling On DFO Minister to Clarify Comments

Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard on Feb. 22, 2022.   Dear Minister Murray: As the Shadow Minister for Fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador, I write on behalf of the PC Official Opposition Caucus to express our deep concern over remarks you reportedly made during your recent speech at the recent annual meeting of the Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters Federation. The president of the ...

DFO Should Not Appeal Category B Licence Court Ruling

About 50 years ago, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) introduced the Moonlighter Policy to remove people from the fishery as a conservation method. The policy targeted fishermen who held other jobs or professions. It was deemed by government that fishing was not their primary source of income and they were left with a choice: leave your job and maintain your Category A licence or keep your job and be reduced to a Category B licence. Ultimately, for many this was not a choice at ...

Scientific Processes and Excellence in the Newfoundland and Labrador Region Being Undermined

A Perspective from the Professional Institute of Public Service Canada’s Members From the Newfoundland and Labrador Region   Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Timothy Sargent, Deputy Minister, Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Ottawa by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada.   The provision of unbiased scientific advice is a cornerstone of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO); the Department has used science advice for decades and it is the ...

Hello from the Other Side

On the far east of our country lies one of Canada’s most unforgettable provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador. And yet, to our very own federal government in Ottawa, we are easily forgotten, especially when it comes to our fishery resource. Our nation only joined Confederation in 1949. What most Canadians do not realize is that we brought into Canada one of the world’s richest fish resources — so much so, that Canada was propelled from 14th to 6th place as a fishing producing nation...

Significant Gaps Remain in Canada’s Fisheries Management Regime

The Navigator managing editor’s overview of the Oceana Fishery Audit in the January issue was welcome and invites comment. I agree with the Audit’s assessment that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ (DFO) management of our fisheries leaves much to be desired and I support Oceana’s goal of improving it. However, I would challenge certain basic elements of its approach that reflect the same mistaken assumptions that DFO’s management itself is shaped by. First, “rebuilding...

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. The ...