Fish stocks for sale

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With the respect to John Gillett’s recent letter (“Fishermen never wanted a big brother”), let me say that with the amendment to the NAFO agreement a few years ago (voted down by the House of Commons) but with the support of the province, industry and the union, passed anyway by the Harper government, NAFO nations are taking over where DFO is leaving off.

Since then there have been several attempts to use $400 million in tax dollars ($280 million from Ottawa) to again “rationalize” the inshore fishery (remember the province’s big, $400-million MOU?) — all with the objective of shutting down the plants and the inshore fishery that brought almost a million dollars a year of new money into almost every coastal community.

Now we have the province, the federal government and all three parties supporting giving up the province’s last vestige of sovereignty (minimum processing requirements) over our fishery — for what? A one-time payment of $280 million from big brother Ottawa. How shortsighted and stealthily deceptive have our leaders become.

We are being led by a few modern day, greed oriented, corporate fish “brokers” — and it would be a misuse of the English language to call them fish processors — all of whom are supported by the FFAW.

What a multi-year, multi-decade, intergovernmental (international, national, provincial), industry and union “strategy” we have been subjected to, the purpose of which is to push N.L. out of the fishery and open the flood gates to the NAFO nations and the province’s unsustainable, industrial/cash crop vision, all driven by corporate greed.

Maurice Adams


Organizations: FFAW

Geographic location: Ottawa

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Recent comments

  • coaster
    January 19, 2016 - 17:29

    And the P.M is headed to Davos to tell the world Canada is open for business, think it was a coincidence that the Fisheries minster was here a few days ago?

      January 20, 2016 - 13:15

      Coaster If one is dumb enough to believe there are no fish stocks traded out of the Atlantic waters that Newfoundland and Labrador brought into Canada, I would suggest that you read up on the sordid history of how Canadians have been hoodwinked into thinking just that! The most important COMMODITY that will be traded off there by the PM will be FISH!

  • james
    January 19, 2016 - 10:57

    Fishermen are the biggest scammer been going on since day one ,They say there is no such thing s a poor fisherman so they say

    • James, you are overly exaggerating.
      January 19, 2016 - 11:15

      James, it is quite obvious that you must be only associated with the harvesters who own the multi-million dollar companies, probably no more than ten in this province. They are the very ones who have had the benefit of the ears of the influential politicians in Ottawa. WE ALL KNOW OTTAWA WANTS THE FISH QUOTAS FOR THE BENEFIT OF TRADE.The ordinary I sore fishers of Newfoundland and Labrador that I have ever met are as poor as church mice. How can anyone thrive on 3000 pounds of codfish at far less than a $1.00 per pound and a few pounds of the other species at rock bottom prices?

  • The Fish Resource Must be Top Concern On The Liberal Agenda.
    January 19, 2016 - 08:11

    The Fishery Resource That Exists Under the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador's Jurisdiction That Is Coveted By The World and its infinite value to the overall economy of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians has to be the MOST IMPORTANT subject on the Agenda of the Liberal Government in its upcoming fifteen month Odessa across our province to glean knowledge of what the electorate deems to be most important to the overall economy of the province.

    • phil earle
      January 19, 2016 - 08:42

      For anyone agreeing with this, as I do, please go to the following link about MPR's and vote or comment. p earle

    • phil earle
      January 19, 2016 - 08:43

      go to link p earle

  • phil earle
    January 18, 2016 - 15:19

    The industry has been masters at manipulating those who work in the fishery, be they plant workers, fishers, or supporting jobs. They use one group against the other in a play and appeal to the union and finally the governments to get what will improve their profits. Those who are the big players in the industry lobby and appeal their business models to those in positions of authority to control or change polices , make exemptions and the like and eventually appeasement is made to them. Fishers and plant workers alike are all being used and robbed out of their heritage and right to make a fair living by this process. The actions of industry is criminal and the governments and union allow it. In Norway fishers get top dollar for fish , and the plant workers who process this fish get $35/hr and $85 thousand a year. MPR's do not set the price of fish, this price is set by the buyers and in most cases in NL this buying is also controlled, the process of buying corrupted by greedy buyers who care nothing about a fisher or a plant worker. The facts are now showing that Ottawa, the union , the provincial government are allowing the take over of our fishery, all of it , shell fish and ground fish by fish corporations both foreign and local. If we don't stop it there will be no fishers , no plants no fishery at all. Its to bad that all who are involved in the fishery don't act together as one... not in separate sectors concerned for their own involvement. Act as one against what is destroying the fishery ..act against government, union and industry. If the fisher people of this province don't act together in one voice.... nobody will have anything in 10 years. P earle

    • Maurice E. Adams
      January 18, 2016 - 16:16

      Very well, superbly, said indeed.

    • Mr. Earle the Prime Minister needs to read your comment.
      January 19, 2016 - 16:42

      Mr. Earle in your comment you said "In Norway fishers get top dollar for fish , and the plant workers who process this fish get $35/hr and $85 thousand a year. MPR's do not set the price of fish, this price is set by the buyers and in most cases in NL this buying is also controlled, the process of buying corrupted by greedy buyers who care nothing about a fisher or a plant worker. " Yes the Nordic countries have full control over their fishery waters and their fish species and now Nordic Greenland is looking for fish quotas and control over fish in the waters of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Nords have seen to it that their fishers, according to the salaries you have quoted here Mr. Earle, have protected their fish stocks for their own population and have seen to it that they are well taken care of with very liveable salaries. Why didn't Ottawa do the same for the Newfoundland and Labrador fishers?

  • Maurice E. Adams
    January 18, 2016 - 14:56

    How can you say that the FFAW abandoned fishers in support of plant workers, when between 1990 and 2005 each plant worker earned on average 7% LESS in 2005 than in 1990 (and their total earned incomes were cut in half) ? While over the same time period each vessel's average landed value increased by 250% (acknowledging that crab resources played a significant role) --- but that does not change the facts of who did well and who did not? Nor how communities lost in excess of a $100 million a year in earned incomes? All during a time when total gross margins and gross margins per plant went up considerably and the Landed Value for all fishing vessels nearly doubled and on a per vessel basis increased 250% ? We are doing little to add value to our resource., and if we don't soon wake up, Royal Greenland, NAFO and other corporate interests will finish off our most valuable renewable resource.

  • Ken Collis
    January 18, 2016 - 06:15

    MPR's were never good for NL fishermen. They simply provided processors with cheap labour. In return the processors supported politicians and political parties financially. FFAW abandoned the fishers in support of the plant workers because that is where the money is for the union. Think of it this way, a fish processor on the mainland is willing to pay a fisher more money for their catch, pay to ship the catch back to their own plant up in Canada, process the fish, send it to market, and still make a profit. NL processors can't make money unless they pay less for the fish, pay less for the processing labour, and get occasional money from government.

    • Maurice E. Adams
      January 18, 2016 - 09:06

      The facts are that the average earned incomes of plant workers in 2005 was DOWN 7% from what they were in 1990 , while the average gross margins per plant [total production value of the fishery MINUS the (landed value of the fish paid to fishers plus the earned incomes for plant workers)] increased by more than 300%. Plus, since then, the price of fuel has gone down considerably and the low Canadian dollar is a boon to the industry. Yet since 1990 the industry has continually said it is in a non-existent "cost-price" squeeze ---- hence they want further rationalization (and $280 million from Ottawa and $120 million from NL taxpayers). Something does not add up.

    • Ken Collis
      January 18, 2016 - 12:01

      Maurice, in 1990 the fishers got $1.05 per lb for cod. Now they are lucky to get $0.60 per lb. I don't suggest CETA is good for NL fishers, only that MPR's are not. Let fishers sell where they get the best value for their product. Just look at the price for fresh cod in the supermarket and you wonder who is getting that money. As for the 400 million you refer to, I bet the FFAW and processors would see almost all of that, and very little would trickle down to fishers.

    • Maurice E. Adams
      January 18, 2016 - 12:46

      Ken, over that same 15 years period, landed value per fishing vessel increased 250%.

    • Ken Collis
      January 18, 2016 - 13:55

      Then to now is 25 years Maurice, and tou are comparing apples to oranges. Crab was not an exploited resource in 1990. You are also using stats per boat, not per fisher. No one is saying crab fishers are hurting.