Newfoundland and Labrador fishermen are among independent fishermen from across Canada who have created a new, national organization to promote the small-business, community-based approach to fishing.
The Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters Federation is made up of fishermen’s organizations from six provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and British Columbia.
Christian Brun, president of the federation, says the group will work with governments to ensure fisheries policies support fishermen.
“Our main concern is to promote the independent, small-business, community-based approach to fishing in Canada,” Brun said in a news release.
“We believe that the privilege to fish should go to the people who fish, not to corporations that end up controlling fishermen.”
The federation’s focus will also include working with both federal and provincial governments to develop policies that improve fish harvesters’ incomes.
“There is so much that needs to be done” Brun says. “We need government’s help to improve the marketing of our products and to work with us to streamline management processes while avoiding unjustified cost-dumping on the back of harvesters.
“We need to provide easier incentives for young people to enter the fishery and we need more transparent and effective consultation processes with our fleets on the issues that are important to us.”
Brun says the members of the federation represent more than 8,500 individual licence holders.