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FSSSB not independent from FFAW: Cleary

['Letter to the editor']
['Letter to the editor']

I wish to respond to the Sept. 25th Northern Pen article “Port au Choix fisherman says halibut tags are a union money grab” by Kyle Greenham and, more specifically, comments attributed to Jason Spingle, the FFAW-Unifor’s west coast staff-representative. 

In the article, Spingle is quoted as saying the Fisheries Science Stewardship and Sustainability Board (FSSSB) – which oversees the Atlantic Halibut Sustainability Plan, the same one that charges 4R fishermen $200 for halibut tags – is “an independent organization, and not under the direct jurisdiction of the union.”

That is not the case.

According to the province’s Registry of Deeds, the FSSSB’s address is listed as 368 Hamilton Ave., St. John’s, the same address as the FFAW-Unifor’s multi-million headquarters.

SEE RELATED: Port au Choix fisherman says halibut tags are a union money grab

Further, three of the FSSSB’s five directors are FFAW-Unifor officials, including president Keith Sullivan, vice-president Dave Decker, and Brendan Condon, who serves on the board of directors of the union-controlled Fish Harvesters Resource Centre, which has the monopoly on dockside monitoring for the province’s inshore fleet.

While inshore harvesters from this province like Dean Olfrey are told they have to pay for halibut tags, harvesters from the Martimes and Quebec – who fish in the same waters – do not have to pay for tags.

Spingle got that much right.

Ryan Cleary,

President, FISH-NL

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