St. John’s, NL – The newly-formed Newfoundland and Labrador Groundfish Industry Development Council announced the appointment of Mr. Jim Baird as the Independent Chairperson of the Council today. The Council, launched in early April, is a group of processor, harvester and plant worker representatives whose stated goal is to assist in the redesign of the current cod fishery which has been under moratorium since 1992.
“This is a challenging role,” says Jim Baird, former Regional Director General with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “It is vital that industry stakeholders recognize shortcomings of the current fishery model and take the necessary steps to insure a sustainable, market-driven fishery that will provide economic benefits to the province for the long-term.”
Membership in the Council has been growing since its formation. The harvesting members and plant workers on the council will be represented by FFAW-Unifor and the processing sector will be represented by individuals from various processing companies, including Fogo Island Co-op, Codroy Seafood Inc., Avalon Ocean Products Inc., Beothic Fish Processors Ltd, Barry Group Inc., Allen’s Fisheries Inc., Golden Shell Fisheries Ltd., and Happy Adventure Sea Products Ltd.
“This is the first time that I can recall such a collaborative effort involving both FFAW-Unifor and processor representatives,” said Paul Grant, Executive Vice-President with Beothic Fish Processors Limited based in Valleyfield. “The significance of this fishery to the industry and the province is evidenced by this effort to do it right for the long run.”
The Council is now in the process of meeting with government officials with a view to forming a comprehensive design proposal for dealing with the re-emerging cod fishery off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“All participants in the Council are well aware of the monumental task ahead,” said Keith Sullivan, President of FFAW-Unifor. “A collaborative, industry-led approach to this transition will benefit all stakeholders and coastal communities in this province, many of which were built on the cod fishery.”
For media inquiries, please contact:
Jessica McCormick, FFAW-Unifor Communications Officer
Bill Barry, Barry Group Inc.