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Warning Regarding Misinformation Being Shared

May 5, 2020

We would like to draw attention to information that is shared on the Newfoundland Fisherman’s Forum Facebook group which is administrated by Jason Sullivan. The information shared on this Facebook group is not only inaccurate, it has caused further stress and harm on the fishing industry in the midst of an already challenging time as we face the COVID-19 pandemic.  It has been made abundantly clear that Jason Sullivan is being used as a pawn by the Association of Seafood Producers to push out their own misinformation in order to divide harvesters and further undermine the collective bargaining process.

Over the last month, there have been several instances of incorrect and unfounded information being shared as truth. To be clear, Jason Sullivan is not an elected representative on any councils or committees within the Union. He does not participate on negotiations calls and he does not have insight into the Union’s positions on important matters. On several occasions Jason Sullivan has “leaked” letters from ASP. These letters from ASP made their way onto Sullivan’s Facebook group for the sole purpose of causing unrest and division amongst harvesters and were never under any consideration by the FFAW. The following are just some of the misinformation and promotion of division in partnership with ASP:

  • A note shared that ASP proposed of divisive trip limits having some harvesters starting one month earlier than others
  • ASP protocols which were not presented to FFAW that suggested that crab would be graded at plants (which is against the snow crab collective agreement)
  • A letter that ASP had only sent the FFAW requesting those who attended a union demonstration be identified and their personal information shared.
  • Stated that the lobster season was going to be cancelled in NL
  • And now stating the FFAW is trying to get DFO to put new trip limits on licenses. This is a fabrication.  There was concern that too much crab being landed may outpace processing capacity and compromise quality.  This is a reasonable concern.  The FFAW committee suggested fair trip limits that do not compromise economics.  ASP showed an unbelievable amount of disrespect and refused to meet harvesters and instead offered them one cent a pound for crab.

Under no circumstances does ASP dictate how and when a fishery will be prosecuted. We will ensure that harvesters are treated fairly and given equitable opportunities. ASP has failed to respond to the FFAW’s committee on moving forward with this, but have repeatedly, and publicly, spoken about strong markets and their intention to buy full quotas for the 2020 season.

While FFAW would not normally comment directly on the antics of Jason Sullivan or his group, fake news and misinformation must be called out, especially during such challenging times in the fishery. We strongly encourage members to rely on official sources of information such as the FFAW website, emails and social media as trusted source of factual information as it pertains to the fishing industry. Rumours and hearsay posted on the Fisherman’s Forum Facebook group only serve to sow division and create more confusion. Should you wish to verify rumours being shared, we encourage you to reach out to your Staff Representative, your elected representatives on Council or Committees, or reach out to us via social media rather than share potentially harmful and unfounded information.