Ryan may not work on a fishing boat, but he’s been on deck his entire career for the Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries. He covered the northern cod moratorium in 1992 as fisheries reporter for the St. John’s Telegram, and led The Independent newspaper in an investigation of NL’s place in Canada, with particular attention to the once-huge fisheries. Ryan later served a term as as Member of Parliament for the province, with most of that spent with the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. After politics, Ryan formed FISH-NL, a breakaway union for the province’s inshore fish harvesters, and was working as a fishery consultant before taking the lead earlier this spring in organizing SEA-NL. Ryan was hired as SEA-NL's first Executive Director on Feb. 19th, 2022
Merv is known in most corners of Newfoundland and Labrador as a retired search and rescue coordinator with the Canadian Coast Guard, and an outspoken advocate for improved SAR services. Merv has founded or chaired numerous organizations and community groups, including the Newfoundland Livestock Council, the Farm Practice Review Board, the Canadian Fox Breeders Association, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture. The son of an inshore fisherman, and one-time small-boat fisherman himself, Merv was inducted into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2015. In 2016, Merv succeeded in getting the Liberal Party of Canada to establish a “declaration of adjacency” whereby those who live adjacent to a resource should have the first right of benefit from the resource. The Government of Canada has yet to adopt the declaration into legislation.