October 12, 2012
The Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters (CCPFH) General Assembly gathered over 140 fish harvesters and fish industry related professionals this past February in Vancouver, British Columbia. The event took place over three days, the first day was dedicated to the Human Resource Conference while the second portion, the last two days of the conference were for the CCPFH Assembly.
“Attendance was the highest yet. We knew that fish harvesters would be interested in the opportunity to see some of the new safety initiatives recently completed and to be able to have a dialogue with some of the governmental bodies making presentations” said John Sutcliffe, Director of the CCPFH. “We also take care of items like the election of our Board. We were quite happy to welcome new members and to have the opportunity to say thank you to those who had been with us for past years.”
Human Resource Conference
The Human Resource Conference focused on two key items of interest to harvesters and therefore split attendees into two groups.
The first group had the opportunity to discuss safety with a panel consisting of Transport Canada representatives and safety members of communities. The panel was followed by the unveiling of the new Fishing Vessel Stability Simulator program. The program was specifically designed for Canadian fish harvesters to reduce chances of incidents on the water.
The second group was presented with a document created by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) entitled “The Modernization of the Fishing Industry”. The document was much anticipated by the crowd to see what changes and direction the DFO may be taking with regards to the Canadian commercial fishing industry. Participants had the opportunity to pose questions to the DFO panel.
A Delicious Reception
Once a heavy day of discussions was complete attendees were treated to a wonderful evening at the Vancouver Aquarium. The event was co-hosted by the CCPFH and Thisfish. Aquarium and Vancouver Chefs delighted guests with traceable food from the Thisfish traceability program.
The last two days of the event were reserved for the CCPFH General Assembly. During that time the CCPFH highlighted some of the successful programs and projects including the Thisfish and the Vessel Stability Simulator and provincial roundtables, among other items. The assembly gave provincial caucuses the occasion to vote for their representatives to the Board of Directors followed by votes for the President. Some new faces joined the CCPFH’s board table while the President and Vice-Presidents were re-elected.
The CCPFH General Assembly is held every three years. Participants include delegations from member organizations as well as observers from other industry groups and representatives of federal and provincial governments. Keynote presentations, panels and workshops deal with key issues of concern to fish harvesters and the proceeding outcomes determine CCPFH policy and priority activities. The next assembly will be convened in 2015.