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New members appointed to NL Fisheries Advisory Council

['<p>At a Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture building on Strawberry Marsh Road in St. John’s, minister Steve Crocker tells reporters LIFO may be gone, but there are still shrimp quota concerns.</p>']
['<p>At a Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture building on Strawberry Marsh Road in St. John’s, minister Steve Crocker tells reporters LIFO may be gone, but there are still shrimp quota concerns.</p>']

Valerie Johnson, Janice Ryan and Brad Watkins have been appointed as at-large members of the provincial Fisheries Advisory Council.

The provincial government made the announcement in a news release Friday afternoon, noting the appointments were made through the merit-based process established by the Independent Appointments Commission Act.

Johnson is a retired special education teacher who spent 30 years teaching in outport communities in the province. She formed a partnership with a fisherman in 1997 and together they fished snow crab, capelin, squid, herring and mackerel in the inshore fishery.

In 1999, they began ranching cod and developed a product called Gooseberry Cove Cod, which supplies a niche market with premium seafood in the United States and Canada.

Ryan is a senior specialist of fisheries conservation for WWF-Canada with over 18 years of experience in various sectors of the Newfoundland and Labrador fishing industry.

She has held positions within Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) and the processing sector. 

Watkins is a fish harvester/enterprise owner on the northeast coast of Newfoundland with over 30 years in the fishing industry, starting as a crewmember and working his way up.

He is currently serving on the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation board and MP Scott Simms’ advisory committee. Watkins is also the vice chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Independent Fish Harvesters’ Association.

The Fisheries Advisory Council will begin work immediately to develop a strategic action plan on cod revitalization that focuses on environmental sustainability, harvesting, processing, quality, innovation and marketing, the release stated.

“These individuals have extensive knowledge and broad experience in the fishing sector and their respective insights will prove invaluable to the council’s work in revitalizing Newfoundland and Labrador’s fisheries, both now and in the years ahead,” Fisheries and Land Resources Minister Steve Crocker said.

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