Today is World Fisheries Day. For many of our members, the fishery is their everyday.
The fishery is the backbone of our province, and remains the single greatest economic driver for rural Newfoundland and Labrador. The fishery is worth more to our province than it ever has been, being valued at $1.15 billion last year.
In the history of our Union, tens of thousands of fish harvesters and plant workers have held an FFAW card and the collective effort of these individuals has moved the fishery from an industry defined by poverty to one defined by economic opportunity, good levels of pay, and the engine for the rural middle class in the province.
The principles that guided the foundation of the Union for harvesters – fair prices, independence from companies, a stronger voice to address federal and provincial governments – remain as important today as they did in decades past.
FFAW-Unifor fights every day to protect what was gained in the past, as well as for the changes that should be made in the present and for the future. We work to address challenges and to create new opportunities.
Harvesters today play a crucial role in fisheries science – as stewards of the resource they rely on. We will not repeat the mistakes of our past, and we must hold government and corporations to account to protect our resources and our livelihoods. We envision a sustainable fishery that supports vibrant communities in rural Newfoundland and Labrador for generations to come.
The fishery is our history, our present and our future.