FISHERY ALLIANCE ISSUES “Fish Challenge” for Election 2021

Guest Post by the Fishery Community Alliance

to the FISH Challenge?


During Election of 2015, the Fishery Community
Alliance (FCA) was asked to provide the then Liberal Opposition Leader with a
guide to develop a fisheries policy should the Party be elected to govern the
Province.   This document was followed up
with a number of meetings with Dwight Ball at his request, so he could be
better prepared to tackle the fishery file.

Following his election in November 2015, the Premier and his
MHAs not only ignored the document and its recommendations, but avoided any
reference to the state of our fishery and the fact the Province lost 30,000
jobs and thousands of people since the 1992 Moratorium.

In fact, no effort, whatsoever, has been made
to rebuild the fishery by the Federal Government, who is responsible for it
management, since Clyde Wells was Premier over 30 years ago.


The Alliance will be making public announcements
during the election process, urging citizens to vote for candidates that will
place the rebuilding our fisheries front and center – if and when elected
.  As Candidates in the Election 2021, now is
your opportunity to prioritize the fishery as an economic and cultural
important resource and industry.

the Fisheries an Election Issue 
  Raise the fishery as an issue on the campaign
trail; engaged in a fish dialogue with your constituents and communities; and become
informed on the history of the fishery and the longstanding and current issues.

Form a
Fishery Caucus
believe it is crucial for elected members who strongly support the rebuilding
of our resource to form a Fishery Caucus within the elected Government
to become aware of the fishery, its history and its issues and seek solutions
the Premier can use to confront the Federal government and demand they rebuild
our fishery to where it was when we joined Confederation.

    We are urging you
to do everything possible to persuade the new Government to take a firm and
unrelenting stand with Ottawa to undertake a major program beginning
immediately to rebuild  our fishery to its
former levels.


Some FCA’s members have been engaged in the N&L fisheries dating
back to the mid-1940s – when documented evidence shows Canada was elevated from
14th to 6th place in the world Ottawa took over our huge fishery.  Today, we are no longer a factor in the
seafood markets of the world and our province has suffered greatly from the cod

We believe that our province does not have a strong future without a
rebuilt fishery.
  We invite you to rise to one of the most important challenges
in NL – saving the fishery.   

As a
start, please read the attached 2012 Fishery document which still contains
relevant recommendation to reimagining our future, with the fishery at the
epicenter of recovery.




The collapse of the Newfoundland and
Labrador groundfish fishery  left an
unprecedented  legacy of dismal failures in
fisheries management policies at both the federal and provincial level, leading

    This public policy
failure has generated unprecedented social and economic change and instability
throughout most regions of our province.  
Our rural regions have been hit the hardest, struggling to survive in
the absence of a solid commitment by governments to fisheries rebuilding and
community revitalization.

   This impotent public
policy vacuum is unacceptable from a public policy perspective is completely
contradictory to government’s responsibility to provide effective management of
our economy and the fishing industry as a whole.

   The principal
mandate of elected governments is to provide effective leadership in developing
public policy strategies for all sectors of our economy and for our society at large
– this includes leadership in the rebuilding of our renewable fishery resources
which grows our rural regional economies and communities, dependent on both the
inshore & offshore fisheries sectors.

Privatization    Increasingly, over the recent past,
fisheries management policies of the federal government have led to creeping
privatization of common property (public) fishery resources. Tis policy approach
will have major future implications for fishery dependent regions and
communities and must be challenged and reversed: otherwise, legitimate
community based interests and the public good will be completely usurped by
private sector driven imperatives;

of Transparency    
disconcerting is a deepening practice by governments to mold public policy in
complete secrecy without the opportunity for broad public input. This lack of openness
and transparency is best illustrated by the secrecy negotiations which led to
the signing of the Canada/EU Free Trade
in early 2014. Aspects of this agreement will  have profound negative implications in the future
for sectors of NL  fishery;

Policy Disjoint    
coordination is critical to fisheries rebuilding and the revitalization of our
rural economy:  NL has paid a terrible
price because of a disjointed federal/provincial approach to fisheries
management over the past fifty years or more; a more pragmatic and enlightened
bilateral fisheries management model is required to achieve fisheries renewal.

failure in Canadian fisheries management, together with aggressive foreign
overfishing of transboundary stocks, were both critical factors surrounding the
collapse of the NL groundfish fishery. Both 
DFO and NL continue to  downplayed
the continuation of foreign overfishing  as a challenge to major transboundary stock rebuilding
challenge. lf not addressed, the future for regions (i.e. South Coast)
traditionally  dependent on these stocks
will remain bleak.


The revitalization of the NL fishery and our
rural economy demands a highly focused public policy commitment to fisheries’
rebuilding and sustainable fisheries management practices which have community
wide input and support.    

Critical to this public policy vision are
policies which promote and safeguard prudent fisheries resource management
practices; environmentally sensitive harvesting technologies; effective processing
sector strategies; and an internationally competitive fishing industry –
anchored by a  strategic marketing

This vision also envisages a revitalized and
vibrant fishing industry which can restore a measure of hope to individuals and
communities in our province wanting the opportunity to rebuild their futures
around a rebuilt and revitalized fishery.

A vibrant fishing industry provides the only
major opportunity for sustained employment and community stability in many
regions of our province. This opportunity should not fall by the wayside – coordinated
and decisive public policy action should be taken to rebuild the fishery both
prudently and viably.



1.     Public Interest    First and foremost, the fishing industry
must be managed in the public interest and for the public good through open,
transparent and accountable fisheries management policies which meet the
“public interest” test;

Fishery resources are common property resources
and must be managed by governments in this context.  License holders who hold a privilege, through
licenses and quotas, to participate in the fishery have no right of common
property resource ownership. The increasing tendency by Ottawa to
quasi-privatize fishery resources must be assessed with public policy concern;

2.     Transparency & Input    All government fishery policies must be developed,
implemented and reviewed through an open, transparent, and accountable public
policy process in which there is full provision for  widespread community and public input; and public
policy formulation must be excluded from any

restrictive provisions of access to information

3.     Science Commitment   An effective and prudent fisheries management
framework, anchored by a solid government commitment to fisheries science, is
the most critical fisheries management consideration that must drive fisheries
management policy.   Pressures to reopen fisheries, or to further
increase quotas for fisheries reopened must be resisted until there is clear
scientific evidence that individual stocks can sustain any given quota  level;

4.     Fed/Prov Partnership     A new federal/provincial fisheries management
partnership is critical to the rebuilding and ongoing management of a
comprehensive bilateral fisheries’ management policy framework for NL.

5.     Government Management     The private sector cannot be permitted to
usurp governments’ constitutional obligations and responsibilities in the
effective management of our fishery;

6.     Prudent Management   An overriding fisheries management objective
is to maximize economic opportunities to communities, industry participants ,
and the economy and fishing industry at large, through prudent and sustainable
fisheries management policies and practices; minimum processing

requirements can play an important role in
meeting this objective;

7.     Cornerstone of Recovery     Fisheries rebuilding must be a pivotal
cornerstone in regional social and economic development priorities for our

8.     Fish Council   
The establishment of a Fisheries Advisory Council, comprised
of both industry and public, is critical to a 
fisheries policy framework;

9.     Inshore & Offshore   The traditional linkage between both the
inshore and offshore sectors of the fishing industry and specific regional
economies of our province should be given full consideration in any comprehensive
fisheries rebuilding strategy; both sectors can bring their specific strengths
to  bear in moving the industry forward
concurrent with stock rebuilding opportunities;

10.  Aquaculture   A prudently managed and sustainable aquaculture
industry can make a contribution to the revitalization of certain rural regions
of our province; however, ongoing concerns over the environmental impacts of
certain sectors of the aquaculture industry must be addressed through an open
and transparent public review process; and an openness to reform for fear of
being left behind;

11.  Rural    The
health of our rural regional economies is particularly intertwined with the
fishery, especially the inshore fishery. 
In the absence of a strong fisheries sector, there is little opportunity
for fishery dependent regions to sustain healthy and sustainable regional economies.  This speaks to a stark reality that
rebuilding our rural economies must go hand in hand with the rebuilding of the


Many questions remain surrounding the collapse
of the NL fishery and  the limited public
policy actions taken by the NL & Canadian Governments since this collapse
some 25 years ago. A full understanding of this matter is crucial from both a
governance and public policy perspective.


Inquiry   This
can best be achieved through a Commission of lnquiry into the Post Moratorium
Management of the NL Fishery. A Liberal Government should make this a principal
cornerstone of its fisheries policy framework.


Bill left public life shortly after the signing of the Atlantic Accord and became a member of the Court of Appeal until his retirement in 2003. During his time on the court he was involved in a number of successful appeals which overturned wrongful convictions, for which he was recognized by Innocence Canada. Bill had a special place in his heart for the underdog.

Churchill Falls Explainer (Coles Notes version)

If CFLCo is required to maximize its profit, then CFLCo should sell its electricity to the highest bidder(s) on the most advantageous terms available.


This is the most important set of negotiations we have engaged in since the Atlantic Accord and Hibernia. Despite being a small jurisdiction we proved to be smart and nimble enough to negotiate good deals on both. They have stood the test of time and have resulted in billions of dollars in royalties and created an industry which represents over a quarter of our economy. Will we prove to be smart and nimble enough to do the same with the Upper Churchill?