I was mailed this note today (Nov. 11th), and the writer asked to remain anonymous.
Hi Mr. Cleary,
I just wanted to write you to let you know that I and my family support you 100%.
My father is a small-boat, inshore fisherman who has fished since he was eight years old, and had his own boat since he was 16.
My father came from a family of 10 — five boys, five girls. His father was also a fisherman, and two of his brothers currently fish for a living as well. Unfortunately, neither of his brothers have children who fish; I am the only one — the only one of my generation who has followed in the family footsteps.
I have fished with my father every summer since I was 14 years old (I'm now 30). Both my mother and father live off of their fishing income, so as I got older I was forced to seek employment elsewhere in order to make a living.
I currently work as a 4th-year residential electrician, and plan to write my journeyman exam next year. However, I have still continued to fish every single year from April to June with both my mother and father (the entirety of our crew).
Although I enjoy working in the electrical field, fishing is where my heart is. I dearly love being on the water fishing, and have always dreamed of turning that passion into a livelihood.
As my father gets older, and closer to retirement — like many other fishermen in this province — I hold on to hope that I can one day make that dream a reality, but every day it becomes more evident that it may never be possible.
I would love to take over my father’s enterprise one day soon, but the current regulations make that virtually impossible, especially for small-boat fishermen.
I'm sure you are aware, but as it stands right now, in order to obtain a Level 2 certificate a person must have earned at least 70/75% of their earnings from fishing for five consecutive years.
This is absolutely impossible for me as my father is an inshore fisherman with only one crab quota, which, as I mentioned above, both my mother and father live off of. I would never be able to survive on only fishing income.
I hope that you can make a change before it's too late. I am sure that I am not the only one in this situation, and it would be devastating to lose rural Newfoundland and the small outports that this province was built on.