Where’s the fight for our fishery?

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If the government of the U.S.A. and the fishing fleets of foreign countries behaved in their fishery like they do here in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Americans would have a civil uprising; it would never be allowed to take place.

In England and France a few years ago when governments wanted to change some policy which would have destroyed thousands of small fishers’ operations, the fishers blocked the channel tunnel.

A day later, the government withdrew its plans.

Where will you find people to stand up like this here?

The most productive fishing grounds of its kind on the planet,  God given to us for a $10-billion industry yearly, forever, and what did the Canadian government do with it when it took over 65 years ago?

What did our local government allow them to do? And both are still doing at present.

Imagine if the governments spent a quarter ($2.5 billion) of what they are planning to spend on Muskrat Falls on developing and trying to restore the forever renewable fishery.

What it would do to our economic stability, the future of our coastal and provincial economy and tourism?

You don’t have to imagine because across the pond, in Iceland and Norway you see $8-billion to $15-billion fisheries.

No government official here wants to take on the powers of Ottawa and the large fish companies.

They don’t want to battle an enemy of wrong because it is too difficult, long-sighted and long-term, with no immediate reward of popular vote in their term, no immediate acclaim to better their image, ego and position.

What have voices in the wilderness got for proclaiming the truth about the wrongs in our fishery? A pat on the back or praise.

What the hell does that do for the fishery, the children of the future and their right to live a fisher’s life of good hard work, self-reliance and the dignity of providing for their families?


Those in power have lost their souls, the soul which would care for the lives of fisher people and their provision, the only ones that can enact changes in fisheries policies that can restore sanity to stop the destruction of the resource.

Dante said, “he who does not stand up in times of crisis is destined for hell.”

Where do you think our people are headed?

Part of the history of mankind

is written in wars fought between countries and nations over natural resources — a bad thing, a form of man’s insanity to himself and Mother Earth, to be sure, but at least they wanted and recognized the value of natural resources to people and their countries.

Indeed, didn’t we for some hundreds of years fight and struggle with the French, Spaniards and Portuguese over our valuable fishing grounds?

So valuable that 400 years of treaties between European fishing nations all included rights to access and catch the fish off our shores?

Well, our fishery isn’t fought for anymore, nor even stood up for here in Newfoundland and Labrador.

It’s allowed to be taken by Ottawa and given away to outsiders, without a word from us.

A boundless treasure of potential wealth and societal stability given away with out a whimper.



Phil Earle


Geographic location: England, France, Ottawa Iceland Norway Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Dolf
    August 22, 2014 - 19:25

    Custodial management was promised by Loyola Hearn. Turned out he was just an opposition windbag. As Fishieries Minister he blew it but has been rewarded for his lies by Harper.

  • Duffy Morgan
    August 20, 2014 - 20:05

    We deserve exactly what they give us until we do something about it other than call the radio stations call in shows and write an article to the paper once in awhile. How about voting out every Incumbent (regardless of party) until they get the message - every election! What if 200 or 500 people went fishing and caught a Cod, asked for charges, showed a receipt for a Cod fish bought at a grocery store and then asked for a trial and do that for several days - the system would shut down trying to figure it all out. That my friends would be Boston where the Tea Party was held before driving England from its shores. Now as a disclaimer I am not suggesting that anyone do that or break any law - instead just keep calling the radio station and write a letter once in awhile - that will show them. Next case!

  • Pierre Neary
    August 20, 2014 - 18:08

    One of Harper's past election promises was to fight to get NL custodial management. NAFO has failed us miserably. DFO is nothing but a slave to FATD. Minister Shea's distain for NL is quite apparent. The answer is clear, get the foreigners off the Nose and Tail and the northern cod stocks will return.

  • Bore Head
    August 20, 2014 - 17:01

    Sadly, Phil, My government is as negligent as yours is to US Fishermen. I wish I could say different. Over burdened regulations designed to eliminate the small operations, and handing the resource to the large, granting deeded rights of ownership, all on the poorest science that good money being thrown away pays for. Our regulatory agency's have been high jacked by the enviro NGOs. Its time for all fishermen that cherish what is being stolen from us, to rise up, and band together, globally. I hate that word, but its a global network of ENGOs that are driving our demise.

  • Corruption abounds in our province and Ottawa.
    August 20, 2014 - 13:23

    The Fishery, the most valuable of our natural resources like the rest of our natural resources was pawned off by our corrupt political minds so as to build economies for themselves and their business friends and the rest of the Canadian provinces. Just imagine, for just one moment, what a GREAT Economic position our province would hold in Canada if Newfoundland and Labrador's great natural resources, that have been developed thus far had been developed for the benefit of our province. I am crying inside at the very thought of how, with all of our great natural resources that created economies elsewhere in Canada and our Great location, the good economic times eluded us. Canada became one of the G7/Great Economies with so much help from the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, while Ottawa ignored the plight of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians entirely with regard to building an economy here and keeping our province's population base stable.

  • Jerome
    August 20, 2014 - 07:55

    Seven seats in Ottawa and no one cares. After the 92 cod moratorium I would often tell people, if we had joined the US instead of Canada, this would not be happening. Now with the pending free trade deal with Europe we will see more foreign fleets taking our fish. Dundendale took some bribe money for the fishery, what is the good of this and what will it actually be used for. When we joined Canada in 1949, we gave them "the Grand Banks of Newfoundland" and what have they done with it.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    August 20, 2014 - 06:44

    Unconscionable --- what else can one say? At least there is still one who has not lost his soul.

    • p earle
      August 20, 2014 - 18:05

      Even if it's a minority of one the truth is still the truth.