Fisheries and Land Resources
July 7, 2017

Members of Fisheries Advisory Council Appointed

The Provincial Government announced today it has appointed Valerie Johnson, Janice Ryan and Brad Watkins as at-large members of the provincial Fisheries Advisory Council. The appointments were made through the merit-based appointment process established by the Independent Appointments Commission Act.

Biographies of Ms. Johnson, Ms. Ryan and Mr. Watkins can be found in the backgrounder below.

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

These three at-large members are joined by the independent chair, Bill Wells, and membership from the Fish, Food and Allied Workers, the Association of Seafood Producers, Seafood Processors of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association, and the Marine Institute. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada is also represented on the council with an ex-officio member.

"I am pleased that such experienced and qualified members have been selected to serve on our province’s Fisheries Advisory council. 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."
Honourable Steve Crocker
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

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Media contact
Rod Drover
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-729-3783, 730-4607


Biographies of newly appointed members of the Fisheries Advisory Council:

Valerie Johnson
Valerie Johnson is a retired special education teacher who spent 30 years teaching in outport communities in Newfoundland and Labrador. In 1997, she formed a partnership with a fisherman 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. Valerie’s work as CEO of the Gooseberry Cove Cod Company has taken her on trade missions to Norway and Greenland, where she has learned about how these countries are maximizing their Atlantic Cod resources in similar remote communities. She is passionate about leading the way in cod aquaculture in Canada and strives to make her community a better place to live through her volunteer positions on the executive of the G.B.S. Recreation Committee, the Traditional Paths Interest Group, the Caplin Cove Southport Local Service District, and the Southwest Arm Lions Club. She is also a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs and the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association.

Janice Ryan
Janice Ryan is a Senior Specialist, Fisheries Conservation for WWF-Canada with over 18 years of experience in various sectors of the Newfoundland and Labrador fishing industry. She holds a Masters of Marine Studies, Fisheries Resource Management and has held positions within Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Fish, Food and Allied Workers, and the processing sector. Janice has worked with fish harvesters on fishing vessels to observe snow crab, shrimp and groundfish commercial fishery operations to build a strong foundation of practical knowledge about the realities facing the industry. Through her role with WWF-Canada, Janice has represented the organization on the world stage as a panelist/presenter in prestigious international conferences.

Brad Watkins
Brad Watkins is a fish harvester/enterprise owner on the northeast coast of Newfoundland. He has over 30 years in the fishing industry, starting as a crew member and working his way to enterprise owner. He has been involved in volunteer work throughout his career, has been Mayor of Cottlesville, and served on various fishing committees (crab, shrimp, groundfish). He is currently serving on the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation board and MP Scott Simms’ advisory committee. He is also currently the Vice Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Independent Fish Harvesters’ Association.

2017 07 07                              2:50 p.m.