Passed On: Randy Theriault — East Ferry, N.S. Fisherman
Randy passed away April 17, 2015 in Port Hawkesbury, N.S. at the age of 48. From the time he was a young man, Randy spent his life on the water as a commercial fisherman and his last venture in life was obtaining his captains certification by completing the master fisherman program at the Marine Institute of Memorial University in St. John’s Newfoundland.
Passed On: Dr. Becky Sjare — Department of Fisheries and Ocean Scientist
Becky passed away on March 28 surrounded by her family. She joined the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in 1993 as a research scientist. She was a member of the Society of Marine Mammalogy, the Arctic Institute of North America and the Boreal Institute. Becky studied marine mammals in the Canadian Arctic as well as in Newfoundland and Labrador since 1981. Past research included studies on the behavioral ecology and vocal behavior of beluga whales, bearded seals and walruses. More recently, Becky had focused on the biology, ecology and population dynamics of harp seals in the Northwest Atlantic. Specific areas of interest have included reproductive biology, by-catch issues and seal/fisheries interactions. Other research programs included an investigation of harbour seals as indicators of upper trophic level health in coastal marine ecosystems in Newfoundland; developing the use of RADARSAT satellite imagery for quantifying climate related changes in the availability of ringed seal breeding habitat in coastal Labrador and determining the importance of seal predation on salmonids in Newfoundland and Labrador rivers and estuaries.
Appointed: Graeme Gawn — President Maritime Fishermen’s Union Local 9
At the recent annual general meeting outgoing president Hubert Saulnier nominated Graeme as his replacement. Graeme is an active owner operator in the fishery and fishes from Cape St. Mary’s, Nova Scotia. He has a long history in the fishery and with the MFU. He was the founding Secretary Treasurer when the Local was created in 1983. His other positions included Past President of the Local, the Nova Scotia Vice President and the N.S. organizer for two years. Graeme has fished for 39 years and acted in the Coast Guard Auxiliary for 32 of those years. Roger LeBlanc will continue with lobster management as well and maintain the secretary treasurer position, Anthony Meuse will continue in the vice-president position and Hubert Saulnier will continue to manage groundfish. Hubert Saulnier, the outgoing president, will continue in his capacity as the Fundy fixed gear co-chair.
Appointed: Ross Butler — CEO Cooke Seafood USA Inc. and Wanchese Fish Company
Butler has assumed a new role as CEO of the newly formed Cooke Seafood USA Inc. and of the Wanchese Fish Company. The purchase of the Wanchese Fish Company by the Cooke family and the creation of Cooke Seafood USA Inc. was announced on June 5, 2015. Butler has served as Senior Vice President for another Cooke family company, Cooke Aquaculture, since 2010. In this role, he was responsible for the company’s processing and harvesting operations and he also played a senior role in the Cooke family’s growth and acquisitions activities. A graduate of both the Marine Institute and Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada, Ross has more than 30 years experience in the seafood industry. As well as his leadership experience in the aquaculture sector, Ross enjoyed a progressive career in the wild fishery with Fishery Products International where he exited in 2002 as Vice President, Atlantic Operations. He also worked with Ocean Choice International as Vice President of Groundfish Operations. Ross Butler will move, with his family, to Suffolk, Virginia where he will assume leadership for the strategic direction of Cooke Seafood USA Inc. and manage the daily operations of the Wanchese Fish Company. Ross is Chairman of the Board of Directors for Culmarex, the Cooke family’s Spanish sea bass and sea bream farming company. He also represents Cooke on the board of New Found Resources (a northern offshore shrimp company) based in St John’s Newfoundland. He holds current board appointments with the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation where he chairs their Aquaculture committee and sits on the Marine Institute’s Industry Advisory Board in Newfoundland.
Retiring: Bill Taaffe — CMC Electronics
Taaffe is retiring after 35 years servicing and supporting the Newfoundland marine electronics industry. Bill is well-known across the province and has been the contact for many years for numerous marine industry participants in this province. Bill’s passion for detail and desire to always provide the correct solution for his customers made him a valued member of the CMC Electronics team in St. John’s. Bill started his career with CMC Electronics (formerly Canadian Marconi Company) in Corner Brook in 1980 and moved to St. John’s several years later to help manage the sales of the growing business in Newfoundland. He will certainly be missed by his friends at CMC and his many customers. Bill has plans to travel on his new motorcycle to meet some of the many friends he’s met over the years in the industry.