And who first pointed out the need for a distinct voice for enterprise owners? As irony would have it — the FFAW.
In March 1992 — four months before the northern cod moratorium was handed down — then federal Fisheries Minister, the late John Crosbie, struck a task force (chaired by Richard Cashin) on incomes and adjustments in the Atlantic fishery.
The report was released in November 1993 and included a study on resource access and allocation, an industry perspective.
The FFAW's inshore council had this to say (page 24):
"Government should be dealing with owner-operators — not the crewmen who fish with them. DFO gives no more status to the owner-operator than it does to the part-time fisherman. At present, owner-operators are not recognized as a distinct group and are not consulted on policy matters, or about what should happen in the fishery generally."
And that's exactly the role that SEA-NL will play — a distinct voice for owner-operators.
That distinctive voice will help land you the best price for your fish, hold governments to account for management and science, and ensure the inshore fishery is the mainstay of a strong Newfoundland and Labrador.
SEA-NL's founding convention is set for Nov. 18th at Gander's Quality hotel, and it's open to all licensed, independent owner-operator inshore fish harvesters in the province.
If you’re not already a member click here, or call Rose Genge at 745 8157 to help you sign-up with SEA-NL, and register for the convention.
SEA-NL should have been formed 28 years ago when the recommendation was first made, but better late than never.
Independent licensed owner-operators are encouraged to join SEA-NL here. These blog posts will be public for a limited time, before becoming exclusive to the membership.