The Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Government announced today that William Wells has been appointed the independent chairperson of the new Fisheries Advisory Council, effective immediately.
Wells appointment was made through the merit-based appointment process established by the Independent Appointments Commission Act.
“Mr. Wells has extensive experience in the fishery dating back many years including leadership roles on the Standing Fish Price Setting Panel, Fishery Products International and the Fisheries Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. Over the coming weeks, I look forward to working with him as we finalize the structure and the remaining members for the council,” explained Steve Crocker, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources.
The Fisheries Advisory Council provide industry stakeholders with ongoing opportunities for input on government decision-making around the province’s fishing industry as the province moves forward in helping the seafood industry adapt to the changes currently underway.
“We recognize our fishing industry is experiencing changes in resources from shellfish to groundfish and we need to ensure it has the supports it needs to transition successfully to a more balanced industry. Mr. Wells expert advice, knowledge and guidance will be invaluable in leading this initiative. I look forward to working with the council as we develop a plan to better position our seafood industry for the return of groundfish,” Crocker added.
Wells has held a number of leadership roles within the Newfoundland and Labrador fishing industry over more than 40 years, including many years as a Director and Chairperson of the Fisheries Council of Canada and President of the Fisheries Association of Newfoundland and Labrador.
He has also served as President of the Canadian Saltfish Corporation and Executive Vice-President of Fishery Products International. He has served on the Fisheries Advisory Group on International Trade and a variety of committees and special advisory groups over the years such as the Atlantic Regional Council (an advisory group to the federal Fisheries Minister), the Ocean Production Enhancement Network, the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation and Technology, the Northern Cod Research Program and as a member of the Seafood Inspection Policy Advisory Committee.
Most recently, Wells served as Vice-Chair and Acting Chair of the Standing Fish Price Setting Panel.