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Business & Economics Natural Resource Extraction

A Future for the Fishery

Crisis and Renewal in Canada's Neglected Fishing Industry

by (author) Rick Williams

foreword by Donald Savoie

Nimbus Publishing
Initial publish date
Oct 2019
Natural Resource Extraction, Food Industry, Agriculture & Food
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2020
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Contrary to popular belief, Canadian fisheries industries are not dead. Key stocks are stable or rebuilding, most commercial fisheries are now managed at sustainable catch levels, and global demand for seafood is booming. But a significant challenge exists: to attract and retain enough young people to crew vessels and take over fishing enterprises from retiring baby boomers.

In A Future for the Fishery, author Rick Williams, research director for the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters and former professor of social policy, examines the reality of the fishery as a dynamic economic sector in rural-coastal regions across Canada—regions that desperately need renewal. This timely read alerts industry and government decision-makers to a looming demographic crisis in the fisheries workforce and explores strategies to attract and retain new labour supply. It also shares the perspectives and experiences of fish harvesters themselves—the people with the most at stake in this rapidly changing industry.

Features illustrative charts and data tables and a foreword from award-winning author Donald Savoie.

About the authors

Rick Williams, M.A., Ed.D, is sole proprietor of Praxis Research & Consulting and research director for the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters. He led the Council's $1.7 million national fisheries labour supply study completed in 2018. From 2009 to 2013 he served as deputy minister to the Premier for Policy and Priorities in the government of Nova Scotia, and previously was a professor in social policy at Dalhousie University. He has served as co—chair of the Board of Directors of Ecotrust Canada from 2016 to 2019.

Rick Williams' profile page

Donald Savoie is a self-effacing professor of public administration at Université de Moncton, where he holds the Clément-Cormier Chair in Economic Development. His recent books include Governing from the Centre (1999) and Breaking the Bargain (2003). When he is not writing scholarly works, he is advising provincial, territorial, and federal governments here in Canada, the United States, the OECD, and the World Bank. He golfs with premiers, prime ministers, and presidents of multinational corporations. He was born and raised in the Acadian village of Bouctouche, in rural New Brunswick.

Donald Savoie's profile page

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