FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Friday, Oct. 15th, 2021
Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) — a new group formed to represent the province’s more than 3,000 licensed, independent owner-operator fish harvesters — has scheduled its founding convention for Nov. 18-19th at Gander’s Quality Hotel.
“It’s full-steam ahead for SEA-NL,” says Ryan Cleary, interim-Executive Director. “Enterprise owners will finally have their own distinct voice in the industry they drive, and, ultimately, achieve a direct say in all decisions that impact their enterprises.”
The plan to create SEA-NL was announced in mid-April by organizers Cleary and Merv Wiseman, well-known around the province as an advocate for search and rescue and wild fisheries.
In May, SEA-NL was registered as a non-profit company, and in June the website (sea-nl.ca) was launched and member sign-up began.
During the upcoming November convention a constitution will be adopted, and a board of directors elected made up solely of independent owner-operators from all fishing zones around the province. A draft constitution and structure for the SEA-NL executive will be unveiled in the coming days. Owner-operators will be able to attend the convention either in-person or virtually.
“Owner-operators run the enterprises upon which the inshore fishery is built, and should see SEA-NL as an opportunity to take a direct lead in the industry moving forward,” said Wiseman, who has extensive leadership/organizing experience.
SEA-NL’s primary goals will be to support independent owner-operators, advocate for healthy fisheries, and strengthen fishing communities.
“Owner-operators are stronger when united for the common good,” said Cleary, a former Member of Parliament who led the FISH-NL union (2016-2019). “No government, no union, no companies can stop them.”
SEA-NL will not be in a position to negotiate fish prices, although it will be well-positioned to influence their outcome, and other industry/government policy and fish management practices.