Woodstock First Nation Fisheries

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Woodstock First Nation began commercial Fisheries operations in the fall of 1996, four years prior to the Marshall Decision. Since that time, the community has expanded operations into a multi-faceted enterprise of harvesting scallop, lobster, sea urchins, swordfish and tuna.

Fisheries operations have been a significant source of revenue and employment for the Woodstock First Nation over the years and should continue to do so with proper planning and execution of the CFE operational and management plan.

As with most enterprises that conduct business whereby harvesting effort is conducted on a seasonal basis, unforeseen circumstances will have to be factored in and assumed as potential threats forcing critical decisions to be made.

Over the past couple years, much of Woodstock First Nations focus has been put on more access to commercial fisheries and more community involvement. An area 36 lobster license and 2 grand manan community halibut quotas have been recently obtained. Community involvement in the commercial fishery continues to be an ongoing struggle.

The following are landings from each license for the 2013/2014 seasons:

Lobster

The past lobster season has been a success for Woodstock First Nation. During 2014/2015 season, every vessel exceeded the average acceptable landings of 15,000-20,000 as set out in the AICFI business plan. The landings were as follows:

Maliseet 2 – 90,002 lbs

Maliseet 3 –  91,344 lbs

Dr Peter Paul – 120,208 lbs (double license)

Urchins

The urchin quotas were unchanged for the 2013-2014 season and remained at 30,000 lbs per quota. The Maliseet 2 and Maliseet3 began fishing on December 12 and caught both quotas by the middle of March.

Scallop

This winter the Maliseet 2 fished scallops in area 6 and landed almost 5000 lbs of the 20,000 lb quota. This was the first time in 4 years that the boat was rug up to scallop and there are plans to fish it even more this winter. The remaining quota was sold to Delaps cove fisheries out of Digby, NS and CR lobsters out of Grand Manan.

Halibut

This year was the second year Woodstock First Nation fished halibut with the newly acquired licenses.

 

COMPANY INFORMATION

Business Name:                       Woodstock First Nation

Address:                      3 Wulastook Court, Woodstock First Nation, NB E7M 4K6

Phone:                         (506) 328-0400

Contact Person:                        Greg Paul

Banking Information:  Royal Bank, Fredericton, New Brunswick

Business concept:        The Commercial Fisheries is operated on a for-profit basis to provide employment and to support other activities within the community of Woodstock .

Woodstock First Nation’s commercial fishing enterprise mainly consists of lobster, scallops, sea urchins and halibut. Community employment together with a financially sound business is the goal of the CFE.

                      

BUSINESS OPERATIONS

 

The main office for the Woodstock First Nation fisheries program is the band office located on the reserve at Woodstock First Nation.  The home port for the fishing vessels is North Head, located on Grand Manan Island.

As part of its fisheries program, WFN currently owns 3 acres of land on 55 Thoroughfare Lane in Grand Manan, New Brunswick.  Three buildings are located on this land, including an eight bedroom residence, a bait shed, and a storage shed.  The residence serves as sleeping and living quarters for the captains and crew, and is used primarily during the fall lobster season.

WFN owns 4 commercial fishing vessels as outlined below:

 

  1. Maliseet II
  2. Maliseet III- built 2002
  3. Dr. Peter Paul- built 2003
  4. Chief Winston Paul- built 2005

 

MANAGEMENT TEAM  –  AICFI business plan

Woodstock First Nation’s CFE currently employs two people:

Commercial Fisheries coordinator

Data Entry Clerk

Enterprise Governance Structure:

 An experienced Fisheries Coordinator has helped the community in the organizational and operational strategies outlined in the fisheries management plan. The Fisheries Coordinator has been responsible to monitor all activities of the commercial operations. This has included but not limited to training, hiring, firing, updating progress reports, providing information to community government, ensuring maintenance of facilities and equipment, ensuring bills are paid on a timely basis (incl. Payroll). Ensure that equipment is operational prior to the season opening. Collaborating with suppliers and buyers will also provide effective operation of the enterprise and ensure cost effective measures are being taken in up-keep of vessels and that product is sold at fair market values.  Landing reports, oil, fuel, maintenance invoices etc. shall be forwarded to the Finance Department for immediate review and payment and also ensure that Dockside monitoring reports are up to date and paid in full. Ensure proper logs and landing reports are up to date and submitted annually. All expenditures are to be approved by Rod Lyons on behalf of the Woodstock First Nation.

Employment contracts are to be signed and dated by all employees and reviewed annually. (see WFN employment conditions). Amendments will be made as necessary to reflect current conditions of employment and revisions as required.

Long term planning for the operations will consist of re-visioning the Fisheries Strategy annually for a three-year period overall and performance reports on season-end fishery by species.

Currently, WFN’s commercial fisheries customers include the following fish buyers:

 

  1. Lobstersà C.R Lobster, Grand Manan, NB

 

  1. Scallopsà Delaps Cove Fish Products, Granville Ferry, NS

 

  1. Urchins à C.R. Lobster, Grand Manan

 

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

Type of fisheries business:      Harvesting

Business Structure:                 Communal

Ownership

 

Name                                                                           % ownership

Woodstock First Nation                            __                         100%

 

Percentage of Aboriginal ownership:                          100%

 

 MISSION STATEMENT     

 

The Woodstock First Nation strives to achieve sustainable fisheries opportunities, employment and revenue generation by investing in their membership education, workforce expansion and economic health.

 

HISTORY OF THE BUSINESS

 

The Woodstock First Nation began commercial fisheries operations in the fall of 1996 by acquiring a Sea Urchin licence issued at the request of Brian Tobin (Federal Fisheries Minister). At that time, the community lacked the necessary gear to fish the licence. Hence, the licence was leased to James McLaughlin for a 60/40 arrangement for the next two years. In 1998 the WFN had the Maliseet I constructed under the ATP (Allocation Transfer Program) for the purpose of fishing this initial licence.

Since Marshall I, WFN has acquired additional licences and vessels and expanded operations and created up to approximately 12 full time-seasonal positions in the operations prime. Other assets include: 3 acre parcel of property, living accommodations, repair, maintenance and storage facilities, vehicles, fork-lift, trailers and surveillance equipment. (see Sect.4-2)

Overall, the enterprise was well accepted in the Grand Manan community and operated at a profit while creating a number of new positions. Initially, the community experienced a high turnover of deckhand labour, however, four band members acquired Masterclass 4 certification (including the Fisheries Coordinator).

The past four years that Woodstock First Nation has been involved with the AICFI program has been very successful. Along with the help of AICFI, a well managed CFE and  hard working and cooperative fishers and skippers have made this possible.

Vessels, Fishing Gear and Licences:

The following chart outlines the fishing vessels owned by WFN:

VESSEL NAME YEAR

BUILT

CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL

 

LENGTH GROSS TONNAGE
Maliseet II 2001 Reinforced plastic 10.26m 22.73
Maliseet III 2002 Reinforced plastic 12.47m 49.25
Dr. Peter Paul 2003 Reinforced plastic 12.29m 34.87
Chief Winston Paul 2005  Reinforced plastic 15.47m 93.55

 

The homeport for Woodstock First Nation’s boats is located at North Head in Grand Manan, New Brunswick. A vessel assessment was carried out on the Maliseet 3 and the Dr Peter Paul on February 18, 2010 by G. B. Field Marine Consulting Ltd. The vessels were found to be in good working order and in need of minimal repair to be in good fishing order.

Species Licence Type Licence ID Gear Descrip Vessel Fishing
Groundfish >45’Vessel Fixed Gear Longline- 50 tubs 102024 Longline

Handline

Maliseet III
Groundfish >45’Vessel Fixed Gear Longline- 25 tubs 102030 Longline

Handline

Herring Fixed Gear Herring Weir 140270 Weir
Herring

Mackeral

Bait 306712 Gill net
Herring

Mackeral

Bait 306713 Gill net

 

Lobster Vessel – Category A 109850 375 traps Maliseet III
Lobster Vessel – Partnership A 111763 Dr. Peter Paul
Lobster Vessel – Category A 111880 300 traps Maliseet II
Lobster Partnership A 111884 Dr. Peter Paul
Sea Scallop Vessel Based Limited- Full Bay of Funday 107842 Drag Maliseet III
Sea Scallop Vessel Based Limited – Mid Bay Bay of Fundy 107803 Drag Maliseet II
Sea Urchins Vessel Based Limited 108482 Diver Maliseet II
Sea Urchins Vessel Based Limited 103510 Drag MaliseetII
Sea Urchins Vessel Based Limited 103532 Drag Maliseet III
Swordfish Vessel Based Limited 109224 Longline

Harpoon Spear – 1 tag

Chief Winston Paul
Tuna Restricted Vessel Based Limited 303023 Longline Chief Winston Paul

Woodstock First Nation’s CFE has also acquired 2 grand manan community halibut quotas with the help of the 2013/2014 component 4 under the AICFI program.. More halibut gear will be purchased under the 2014/2015 component 4 to fish this license effectively.

OPERATIONAL PLAN

Dr Peter Paul shall commence with the lobster season and maintain a double gang of lobster licences on the second Tuesday of November each fall. Acceptable average landings on this vessel should return about 40,000 lbs of catch up to January 01 of each year. Normally, traps will continue to fish and harvest into the spring season with an average acceptable catch of 15-20,000 lbs until the end of June. Annual average catches should range in the 55-60,000 lb. range.

Maliseet III  and Maliseet II shall commence with the lobster season and maintain a single lobster licence on the second Tuesday of November each fall and shall have all traps returned to shore no later than January 5th of each year. Acceptable average landings on this vessel should return 25,000 lbs. of lobster in the fall. Traps will return to the water in mid April of each year and will continue to fish until the end of June. Acceptable spring landings should yield on average 15,000 lbs. Total lobster landings for each vessel should be in the 40,000 lb range.

Maliseet II and Maliseet III shall commence fishing the Urchin Drag licences on December 15th of each year and continue fishing until both urchin licence quota’s are completed. Combined aggregate weight of the two licences total 60,000 lbs.

Maliseet III will begin fishing scallops on the second Tuesday of January and fish the full bay quota in area 6 until the quota is caught. Quota varies from year to year and the remainder will be sold to Delaps cove fisheries in Digby, NS. Also at this time the Maliseet II will fish the mid bay quota with recently purchased gear until the quota is caught. This is a competitive fishery and the seaso n can vary from year to year.

Maliseet III and Maliseet II will also fish 1 halibut quota each beginning March 1 and again on July 1. This quota is subject to change from year to year also.

 

QUALIFICATIONS, EXPERIENCE, JOB DESCRIPTIONS – Captains

Greg Paul,

Captain, Maliseet III – 1 lobster licence area 38                                                                                                                     Full bay scallop licence

Fishing Master IV

Marine Emergency Duties

Restricted Operators Certificate (Maritime)

Marine First Aid

 

Adam Parker,

Captain, Dr Peter Paul  –  1 Lobster – area 38

Fishing Master IV

Marine Emergency Duties

Restricted Operators Certificate (Maritime)

Marine First Aid

Billy Clinch,

Captain, Maliseet 2 – 1 lobster license – area 38

2 urchin licence – area 38