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Province appoints new Fisheries Advisory Council (don't look for independent faces)

The make-up of the province's Fisheries Advisory Council has changed dramatically since it was created in 2017 by the Andrew Furey administration. Former "independent" chair Bill Wells (who was appointed by the Independent Appointments Commission) is out.

Wells (formerly with Fishery Products International/the Canadian Saltfish Corp., etc.) is replaced by co-chairs Derrick Bragg, the Fisheries minister himself (former town clerk/manager of Greenspond), and Kevin Anderson, head of the Marine Institute's School of Fisheries, and former Regional Director of DFO's NL region.

Here's the membership breakdown:

In July 2017, months after Wells was appointed chair, the province appointed Valerie Johnson, Janice Ryan and Brad Watkins as at-large members of the provincial Fisheries Advisory Council.

As it stands there are no at-large candidates on the latest advisory council.

The three inshore harvesters on the advisory committee — Tony Doyle, Loomis Way, and Alton Rumbolt — are FFAW to the core. They speak as one with their leader, Keith Sullivan, who's also there.

From SEA-NL's perspective, independent voices are critical for change, and if there are none then it's status quo.

Same old, same old. That won't do anymore.

The creation of a Fisheries Advisory Committee was one of more than 50 initiatives outlined in The Way Forward: A Vision for Sustainability and Growth in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Furey government's strategic economic plan.

It's a way forward all right, but not necessarily in the right direction.

That would take bold and decisive action, and i honestly can't remember the last time a provincial government did that successfully with the wild fisheries.

The inshore is due.

Ryan Cleary,


SEA-NL founding convention will be held virtually on Feb. 8th, 2021, and will be open to all owner-operator members in good standing. To join SEA-NL go here.

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