Fishing For Freedom - News Letters

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February 2011

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I have recently added a Financial Profile report prepared by Stuart Nelson on the financial performance of the Commercial fishery for 2007 on our website and encourage you to examine it.  The only earlier report was produced for the 1991 and 1994, and is not nearly as comprehensive as the 2007 report.  Though it is difficult to make a proper comparison, some obvious factors would indicate the commercial industry is and will be pushed out of existence if the trend of a continuous decline in participation and economic viability continues.


From my brief analysis, in 1994 there were 5,892 commercial vessels engaged in active fisheries, and the gross revenue was around $882,000,000.  In 2007 there were 2,078 active vessels with a landed value of approximately $280,000,000.  When one adjusts for the cost of living inflation the reality is actually much lower in 2007 dollars. The individual performance from the 2007 analysis indicates that of these 2,078 vessels, 1/3 are in a negative income situation, with another 1/3 marginal.  When considering capital investment, those considered profitable could be reduced even further.  From these numbers it is clear that regulatory and management policies and the introduction of farm salmon have driven the industry to the edge of collapse.  Unless the process is stopped the remaining participants in the commercial fishery will soon join the already inactive licenses and vessels.

The futility of relying on the DFO to manage the fishery out of its decline is indicated by the creation of yet another advisory board.  The Groundfish Integrated Advisory Board (GIAB) is about to be added to the pile of 50-some others.  The terms of reference are consistent with other advisory boards. I will write further on this with respect to this process, and put the Terms of Reference on the website.  None of the commercial fishing advisors, or any existing advisory boards, to my knowledge, have gone on record collectively, in opposition to any of the Government and DFO’s policies that has brought the industry to where it is.  These advisory boards Terms of Reference distract those capable of representing the broader interests of the industry fisheries resources into focusing on government policy and individual species agenda issues including parks, protected areas, ecological reserves, quota management, etc, while ignoring the cause and effect of the declining fisheries and fisheries resources.

With respect to our Class Action Law Suit, hopefully you weren’t expecting a quick outcome.  It was expected that the crown would use every method at its disposal to delay or derail this action.  We are presently waiting for a jurisdictional judgment in order to continue.  The Judge in this case is, I believe, waiting for the results of a similar case, in the Federal Court of Appeal. Fishing for Freedom, has filed an affidavit as an intervener in this Federal Court of Appeal east coast case.  This appeal is a result of a Newfoundland Court of Appeal decision, which we believe, circumvents the political process and gives the Fisheries Minister dictatorial powers. read more

Fishing For Freedom asks all members and non-members to submit membership fees and or donations in support of actions and efforts of our Society.  None of the Board Members including myself have taken or received any funds from the society, and have contributed our own funds and our time.  This also includes considerable voluntary hours of our website manager. If you have an interest in protecting our fishing industry or our fisheries resources please, we need your support.  See our membership forms on this website.

Gerald Dalum

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