More than 45,000 commercial fish harvesters work Canada’s waters from coast to coast. Most operate on the Atlantic coast, fishing from Nunavut to the American border, including offshore banks. Thousands more fish the rich waters of British Columbia and inland on the Great Lakes and prairie lakes.
Fish harvesters command an array of skills that few professions can match. The knowledge fish harvesters require to bring fish to the consumer’s plate has become vaster than ever before. They learn the biology and migration of multiple species, some old and some newly developed fishing methods, the mastering of boat maintenance or even boat building, the use of navigational tools ranging from the traditional compass to the most modern electronics and as business owners they also acquire organizational and negotiating skills for dealing with fish buyers and government agencies.
Harvesters not only have many skills they also have different roles; they act as conservationists and safety advocates as well as teachers and mentors to younger fish harvesters.
The Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters (CCPFH) was created with an objective of representing Canadian fish harvesters’ interests, helping lead in the development of having fish harvesting become a recognized profession, and to help with the implementation of training and adjustment programs.
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