November 21, 2020 – November 21, World Fisheries Day, is a welcomed opportunity to reflect on the value of our fisheries, the related culture, and celebrate the contributions by all of the people who work to make the industry successful in Newfoundland and Labrador. I invite all members to recognize the essential contribution of fishers and processing workers who provide food, nutrition, and income security here at home, as well as to millions of people around the world.
It is important to call attention to the undeniable value of our local fisheries, and their role in sustaining both aquatic life and life on land. FFAW members live in nearly 500 communities in every region of our province. Many of these communities have existed for centuries, and almost all were founded because of the fishery. The existence and survival of these communities depends on the vast number of fish species in our adjacent waters.
The fishery today is very different from the fishery of the past. Fish harvesters have diversified, increased their focus on quality, and they continue to be proud stewards of the ocean. World Fisheries Day this year is not only about celebrating the accomplishments of the fishing industry, it is also about highlighting the opportunities for a sustainable future. Fishery workers are concerned about their futures, especially as we move forward amidst a global pandemic. And still, these fishery workers continue to reinforce our vibrant coastal communities and be an economic driver for Newfoundland and Labrador, making the value of the fishery even more obvious during this challenging year.
It is, indeed, a year of transition with new processes and protocols put in place, but our challenges are never greater than our resiliency. The World Fisheries Day of 2020 is one that presents us with the opportunity to celebrate our fishing culture, our people and give thought to how we can better support our local fisheries as we head into 2021.