Skip to content

Fishing Industry Moves Forward Following Failed Union Raid 

December 3, 2019

MEDIA RELEASE: Fishing Industry Moves Forward Following Failed Union Raid 

December 3, 2019

ST. JOHN’S, NL – Fish harvesters in Newfoundland and Labrador are ready to move forward following news that FISH-NL has ended their card drive and are dissolving the organization.

“FISH-NL’s failure to garner sufficient support following their second card drive is unsurprising. The overall response we’ve been hearing from our members all over the province is that FISH‑NL is not the answer to the challenges our industry is facing,” says FFAW-Unifor President Keith Sullivan. “We remain committed to working with all our members, including anyone who signed a FISH-NL card, to improve the industry and make the inshore fishery better for the people of our province,” Sullivan says.

For the past three years, Ryan Cleary and FISH-NL have spread misinformation concerning FFAW, its leadership and the work the Union does to represent members. The group’s efforts to divide the industry have only created chaos and distracted from the real issues at hand.

“It is clear this group has done nothing but create turmoil and unrest in our coastal communities, pitting fish harvesters against plant workers, skippers against crew. FISH-NL has repeatedly discounted the value of fish harvesters participating in fisheries science and management and has attacked the significant work of harvesters who give their time to volunteer positions on councils and committees,” says Sullivan.

“Fish harvesters want to focus on the major issues facing our industry and have had enough of the lies spread by FISH-NL over the past three years,” says Tony Doyle, FFAW Inshore Vice-President and Bay de Verde fish harvester. “What the inshore fishery needs right now is fish harvesters working together to take on the big corporations, who are the ones that gain when we are divided.”

In the 2019 season, fish harvesters earned some of the highest incomes on record, with the value of the fishery spread across every coastal community in the province. These improved incomes are a direct result of the hard work of the FFAW negotiating teams and hundreds of volunteer fish harvesters who serve on local committees and have negotiated substantial price increases in a variety of species this year.

“FFAW members have one of the strongest fisheries unions in the country. The vast majority of harvesters know the industry and our Union is better off when we work together. The proof is in the battles we’ve won – our track record of success negotiating record-high fish prices, fighting back against quota cuts and pressuring governments to reverse bad management decisions,” says Sullivan.

“Let’s move forward into 2020 strong, united and ready to work together to build a strong inshore fishery and vibrant coastal communities that support all our FFAW members and their families,” Sullivan concludes.


For media inquiries, please contact Courtney Glode at 709-743-4445 or