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Fishery Co-op could turn the tide for Newfoundland’s inshore fleet; SEA-NL to make transition

SEA-NL’s Board of Directors voted last week to transition from a non-profit professional association to a for-profit Co-operative to better represent licensed enterprise owners and strengthen the inshore fishery.

Successful fishery Co-ops operate in Labrador, Petty Harbour and on Fogo Island, and are owned and operated by local members who share the profits or benefits with the communities around them.

In the case of the Labrador Fishermen’s Union Shrimp Co., that Co-op represents 130 inshore enterprise owners from L’anse au Clair to Cartwright, and owns/operators five processing plants, two mid-shore banker boats, and an offshore factory-freezer trawler.

While Labrador’s commercial fishery thrives, Newfoundland’s inshore fleet is at the beck and call of for-profit foreign and domestic processing companies that squeeze every last penny from a fleet that shrinks further every year.

Clearly, it’s change or die.

To that end, we’re assembling a steering committee to lead the transition. If you would like to serve on the committee please respond to this email, or call/text Ryan at 709 682 4862.

We have learned from experience that change in the inshore fishery can only be done with fishermen, not for them, and we expect the first order of business will be to poll enterprise owners to gauge support. Only then will we move forward.

Onward and upward

Ryan Cleary,

Merv Wiseman

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