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SHEDIAC– In a historic move independent fishermen from across Canada have created a new, national organization to promote the independent small business, community based approach to fishing.

 

The new organization, the Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters Federation, brings together fishermen’s organizations from Atlantic Canada, Quebec and British Columbia.

 

“Our main concern is to promote the independent, small-business, community based approach to fishing in Canada” says Christian Brun, newly elected President of the Federation. Brun says the new federation will work with government to ensure that fisheries policy support actual fishermen.

 

“We believe that the privilege to fish should go to the people who fish” Brun says “not to corporations that end up controlling fishermen.”

 

Brun says the new federation’s focus will also include working with both Federal and Provincial governments to develop policies that improve fish harvesters’ incomes.

 

“There is so much that needs to be done” Brun says. “We need government’s help to improve the marketing of our products and to work with us to streamline management processes while avoiding unjustified cost dumping on the back of harvesters. We need to provide easier incentives for young people to enter the fishery and we need more transparent and effective consultation processes with our fleets on the issues that are important to us.”

 

Brun says the members of the Federation represent more than 8,500 individual licence holders in 6 provinces, that are owner-operator, heading up a small local business.

 

“Taken together,our fleets are coastal Canada’s largest private sector employer”, Brun said.

 

“Year in year out, our members create another 20,000 jobs for crew members on our boats and in our communities. Our fish provides thousands more direct jobs in fish processing, handling, transportation and marketing. We also create jobs in boat construction, gear supply and maintenance services” Brun said.

 

“Most importantly we create these jobs in rural, coastal Canada where jobs are scarce.”

 

Contact: Christian Brun (506) 532-9783

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