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FFAW says Cleary lacks ‘understanding of the fishery’

FFAW-Uniform president Keith Sullivan
FFAW-Uniform president Keith Sullivan

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) union is firing back at comments made earlier today by Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) president Ryan Cleary.

In a news release, FISH-NL said it has obtained a copy of the 2016 Northern Cod Management Plan, and called into question whether there should be an inshore northern cod fishery.

The FFAW, in its own news release, said scientific evidence, backed up by knowledge from harvesters, supports an inshore stewardship fishery.

“Cleary’s comments again demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of the fishery,” said FFAW-Unifor president Keith Sullivan.

“This is the exact argument the corporate offshore sector is using in an attempt to push inshore harvesters out of the fishery and get a bigger share of the pie for themselves.”

See Related: Northern cod plan kept from harvesters, FISH-NL’s Ryan Cleary says

The FFAW-Unifor release said the current northern cod management plan does not allow for any fishing by offshore corporations.

Since the FFAW won improvements to the fishery including a longer season with more opportunities for inshore harvesters, offshore corporations have lobbied the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), questioning fisheries science in an attempt to stop the inshore northern cod fishery, the union release claimed.

“Harvesters are pleased with the first steps being taken on the road to a new commercial northern cod fishery,” Sullivan said.

“These statements show how disconnected Cleary is from northern cod harvesters who had a very successful season and they expose his lack of knowledge and experience with the fishing industry.” 

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