Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters National Fish Harvesters Human Resources Sector Study - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters National Fish Harvesters Human Resources Sector Study


Telephone surveys of fish harvesters ... groups of fish harvesters in each DFO Region ... Recognition of the status of harvesters as skilled professionals ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters National Fish Harvesters Human Resources Sector Study

Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters
National Fish Harvesters Human Resources Sector
  • Presentation to NS Coastal Communities Network
  • January 10 2007

Predominant Sector
  • Owner operator fleets
  • Currently generate upwards of 75 of the wealth
    from Canadian fisheries
  • Key economic contributors in over 1000 coastal
  • Employ 36,000 people directly in harvesting
  • Main source of income for 24,400
  • Employment concentrated in regions of relatively
    limited employment options

Objectives of the Study
  • Identify trends for current and future needs for
    skilled labour force
  • Enterprise heads
  • Crew
  • Apprentice captains
  • Permanent professional crewmembers
  • Propose policy and action responses to address
    gaps and challenges

Study Components
  1. Profile of the fish harvester labour force using
    Census Canada data
  2. Telephone surveys of fish harvesters
  3. Enterprise heads in the Atlantic Provinces and
    Québec (N 1,205)
  4. Crewmembers in the Atlantic Provinces and Québec
    (N 600)
  5. Enterprise heads in British Columbia (N 300)
  6. Crewmembers in BC (N 171)

  1. Key informant interviews and consultations with
    harvester leaders, fish processor
    representatives, independent fisheries experts,
    DFO managers and officials in provincial
  2. Facilitated focus groups with representative
    groups of fish harvesters in each DFO Region
  3. Regional workshops and experts meetings and

  1. International comparisons and a literature review
  2. In-depth financial analyses of fishing
    enterprises with regard to rising license prices
    and inter-generational transfer of fishing assets
  3. Community case studies in seven coastal-rural
    regions representing different types of fisheries
    and divergent trends in resource availability

Core Analysis
  • Little attention in past to labour force issues
  • Assumption Too many fishermen.
  • Fishing is a high skill, knowledge intensive
    occupation, but
  • Not professionalized in terms of formal
    recognition and training and certification
  • Labour force traditionally recruited and trained
    through informal apprenticeship

Core Analysis (Continued)
  • 50 of enterprises to change hands by 2014
  • Owner-operator, community based fishery may be
    dramatically weakened or displaced
  • High license prices a significant barrier to
    retention of control of licenses in the sector
  • Companies, fishermen investors and speculators
    are taking control of licenses and quotas
  • Fewer young people coming up due to rural
    depopulation, out-migration of youth, low crew
    wages and reduced fishing opportunities.

Core Analysis (Continued)
  • Public policy reasons to protect owner operator
    fleets and coastal communities
  • Maintenance and intergenerational transfer of the
    substantial base of knowledge and skills
  • Maintenance of coastal-rural labour force for
    many other industries (forestry, tourism,
    aquaculture, oil and gas development, etc.)
  • Maintaining a dominant role in wild fish
    harvesting for people with a long-term stake in
    conservation and sustainable harvesting.
  • Sustaining coastal peoples, First Nations

Core Analysis (Continued)
  • Policies and programs
  • Fully enforced OO and FS policies
  • Expansion of industry-directed education and
    training programs
  • Management of more valuable small businesses
  • Management of local fleets and fisheries
  • Participation in fisheries science
  • Improvements in health and safety
  • Tax measures and financial resources to
    facilitate intergenerational transfers of fishing

Breakdown of Informal Apprenticeship Tradition
Informal Apprenticeship
  • Young people grew up in fishery
  • Usually on family enterprises
  • Acquired knowledge and skills on the job
  • Reliance on mentors
  • Limited access to formal training
  • Decline in recent years

Captains - Age Profile
License Acquired From
Atlantic BC
From Family 36 19
From Community 24 33
From Employer 35 26
Last Year Crew Worked For
Atlantic Pacific
Family 59 11
Local Community 38 37
Will Acquire Licenses From.
  • Family member
  • Atlantic - 46
  • Pacific - 65
  • Other license holder from community
  • Atlantic - 32
  • Pacific - 20
  • Employer (family or not)
  • Atlantic - 65
  • Pacific - 70

Crew -- Future Plans
  • Plan to become skippers
  • Atlantic 39
  • Pacific 12
  • Cost of licenses a very serious barrier to new
    entrants or crew becoming skippers
  • Atlantic Crew - 48 /Captains - 64
  • Pacific Crew - 55 /Captains - 64

License Price Issue
  • Big jump in license prices since 1995
  • S-F license quota 2/3 value of enterprise
  • Driven by speculators, trust agreements
  • Average enterprise sale prices
  • LFA 34 - 988K
  • Gulf NS - 375K
  • Financial analysis
  • At these prices, enterprises not viable for

Breakdown of Apprenticeship
  • Fewer enterprises to provide jobs
  • Shorter fishing seasons
  • Lower wages
  • Competition from skilled trades occupations
  • Young people leaving fishing communities
  • Career barrier - high costs of buying licenses

(No Transcript)
Policy Recommendations
  • Renewal of formal training options
  • Affordable
  • Local delivery/distance education
  • Multi-skilling strategy
  • Financial supports for new OOs
  • Expanded loan board
  • Licenses as collateral
  • Capital gains
  • Professional incorporation

Professionalization Vision
Professionalization means
  • Public recognition of the value and strategic
    importance of the fishing industry
  • Recognition of the status of harvesters as
    skilled professionals
  • Expanding and improving opportunities for
    education and training
  • Address new knowledge and skills priorities
  • Promote life-long learning similar to most other
    skilled occupations

New Knowledge Skill Challenges
  • Health Safety
  • Transport Canada
  • Workers Compensation
  • Expanding management roles
  • Public demands for conservation
  • Need to offer safer, better paid jobs to get and
    hold crew
  • Managing more valuable businesses

Bottom Line
  • Need a comprehensive and concerted policy
    commitment to survival of community based
    owner-operator fishery
  • DFO licensing policy (OO/FS)
  • Education and training
  • Taxation regulations
  • Sources of affordable capital
  • Infrastructure (DFO, ACOA, province, etc.)