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Full-steam ahead with inshore fishery co-op

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Dec. 14th, 2023  Efforts are full-steam ahead toward the formation of a co-operative to represent Newfoundland’s independent inshore enterprise owners, with incorporation expected by January but with talks already underway towards selling fish in the 2024 season.

Tappers Cove wharf, Torbay.

“The timing and opportunity is now for a fishery co-op with increased processing capacity expected to be announced in the coming days, and more competition for independent owner-operators to free themselves from the company cartel,” says organizer/spokesman Ryan Cleary, Executive Director of SEA-NL.

“A fishery co-op would protect the inshore from foreign and domestic processing companies that directly or indirectly control most enterprises,” says Merv Wiseman, another key organizer and SEA-NL board member. “We see this as the only way forward.”

A steering committee put together by SEA-NL met recently in Grand Falls-Windsor, and overwhelming endorsed the creation of a fishery co-operative for inshore enterprise owners on the island of Newfoundland specifically. (Labrador inshore enterprise owners are already part of the social enterprise that is the Labrador Fishermen’s Union Shrimp Co.) 

Incorporation documents for a new fishery co-op are expected to be filed in the coming weeks. Discussions have already been taking place between representatives of the future co-op and new and existing processing companies.

“We hear strong support from enterprise owners around the province who see a co-op as the only way for the inshore to save itself,” said Cleary. 

“Individuals aren’t overly vocal because enterprise owners have been punished for speaking out,” added Wiseman. “The goal is for those days to end soon.”


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