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Commercial Fishing



FISH NL challenges advertising tactics. The Federation of Inshore Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says an  ongoing advertising campaign by the Offshore Fishery Association promoting its economic impact is misleading until certain facts are revealed.

Last fall Ocean Choice International announced a “major investment” in the form of a new 74-meter vessel to target groundfish stocks such as yellowtail flounder and redfish.

“Exactly how much quota and what species do offshore fishing companies have access to in waters off Newfoundland and Labrador, and how much unprocessed fish is being shipped out-of-province?” asks Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL.

“The offshore companies must reveal that information before judgement can be made on their economic contribution to Newfoundland and Labrador.”

The Offshore Fishery Association — representing the factory-freezer trawler sector — launched an aggressive advertising campaign recently branding itself as an economic contributor, employing more than 2,000 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in 300 communities, and with more than $90 million in salaries.

But that economic impact may be misleading in the absence of answers to key questions. 

“At the same time that the province’s inshore fishing industry tries to build and expand markets, the offshore sector may be destroying our marketing opportunities by selling unprocessed fish around the world to fill the same markets,” said Cleary, who also questioned the percentage of foreign ownership in the offshore companies.

“The offshore sector must come clean and lay the facts on the table, only then can we have a real measure of their economic contribution. We can’t expect the FFAW-Unifor to ask these questions because they represent the workers on many of the factory-freezer trawlers.”