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  • Writer's picturerryancleary

Three fishery demands for 2024 season: province must guarantee fair market share; feds must set up loan board, & FFAW must grant harvesters own affiliate union

From where I stand, which is on the side of the inshore fleet, Prime Minster Justin Trudeau, Premier Andrew Furey, and the FFAW-Unifor must each act immediately to reform Newfoundland and Labrador’s inshore fishery: 

Furey government 

Because the fish-pricing system in Newfoundland and Labrador is legislated to stand in place of an open and free market, the provincial government must guarantee inshore harvesters a fair share of the market price (50% minimum).

All numbers can be manipulated except sales receipts. Until now, the processing sector has refused to produce receipts, and the province has refused to make them. Fish prices in international markets are beyond the province's control, but government can/must ensure a fair market return.

Starting this season, the provincial government must guarantee its pricing system results in a fair-market share to the inshore fleet for all species. 

Trudeau government

The federal government must create an independent fishery financing agency to finance new entrants to acquire licences and quota, as well as to refinance existing licence holders to become independent of illegal trust and supply agreements with fish processors.

(That recommendation comes directly from the Liberal-led House of Commons committee report this past December on corporate concentration and foreign ownership.)

Such a move would break the processing-sector cartel.


Must immediately work to separate inshore harvesters into their own, separate affiliate union.

A union that represents all sectors of a single industry (including competing sectors) cannot represent any one sector well.

Harvesters must have their own leadership/representation separate from plant workers, offshore trawlermen, aquaculture workers, and all other unionized sectors of the fishing industry. 

Ryan cleary is a former journalist, Member of Parliament, union leader, and long-time inshore fisheries advocate who’s currently helping to organize a co-operative ( for inshore enterprise owners. The opinions expressed in this blog are his own. Contact him at or call/text 709 682 4862. 

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