January 27-28, 2021

APC 22nd annual
Fisheries Conference

APC Fisheries Conference 2021 | APCFNC

Conference Schedule

The 22nd Annual Fisheries Conference was presented by the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat (APC). The conference was held virtually between January 27-28, 2021 and was viewed by delegates across Canada. The theme chosen for this year’s conference was “Our Fishing, Our Future”. While this event was open to the public, the content was tailored to those in the Atlantic region.

9:00 – 9:15 a.m.

Opening Prayer & Welcome

Elder opening up the conference with a prayer, and a welcoming message from the Director of Fisheries and Integrated Resources at APC.

Elder Joe Michael / Sipeknek’atik First Nation

9:15 – 9:30 a.m.


Overview of Atlantic Fisheries Programs

An overview from the Executive Director of APC about Atlantic Fisheries programs.

John G. Paul / Executive Director at the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat

9:30 – 10:00 a.m.


AFN Fisheries Sector Overview and Update

An update on AFN’s National Fisheries activities.

Ken Paul / Director of Fisheries at the Assembly of First Nations

10:30 – 11:00 a.m.


2021 Seafood Market Outlook

An international market outlook of the seafood industry for 2021.

Zach Whynot / Manager at TriNav Fisheries Consultants Inc.

11:00 – 11:30 a.m.


Update on the Status of Fisheries Rebuilding in Canada

A description of Oceana’s 2020 Fishery Audit and a health status report on the fish stocks of Canada.

Devan Archibald / Fisheries Scientist at Oceana Canada

Reba McIver / Fisheries Analyst at Oceana Canada

11:30 – 12:00 p.m.


Fish Stocks Provisions and Proposed Regulations to Implement the Provisions

An outline of DFO’s proposed regulations for fish stock provisions in Canada.

Marc Clemens / Manager at Fisheries and Oceans Canada

1:00 – 1:30 p.m.


Changing the Way Ocean Business is Done

A presentation on Canada’s Ocean Supercluster.

Ralph Eldridge / Indigenous Engagement Lead at Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

Melody Pardoe / Chief Engagement Officer at Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

1:30 – 2:10 p.m.


Vessels of Concern (VOC) Program Development

A presentation on the national strategy to address abandoned and wrecked vessels.

John Doucet / Superintendent of Vessels of Concern at the Canadian Coast Guard

2:10 – 2:30 p.m.


Emergency Beacons 406MHz, EPIRBs, and PLBs

A description of emergency beacons and the Canadian Registry.

Important Contacts:

Canadian Beacon Registry
1-877-406-7671 | cbr@sarnet.dnd.ca | www.cbr-rcb.ca

Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax (JRCC Halifax)
1-800-565-1582 | 1-902-427-8200 | jrcchalifax@sarnet.dnd.ca

Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre St. John’s (MRSC St. John’s)
1-800-563-2444 | 1-709-772-5151 | mrscsj@sarnet.dnd.ca

Ray McFadgen / Superintendent of Maritime Search and Rescue at the Canadian Coast Guard

3:00 – 3:30 p.m.


At Risk Marine Fish in Atlantic Canada

A presentation outlining Ocean’s North Species at Risk workshop conclusions in Atlantic Canada.

Katie Schleit / Senior Fisheries Advisor at Ocean’s North

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.


Federal Aquaculture Act and Engagement

An overview of the proposed federal aquaculture act.

A Canadian Aquaculture Act
Discussion Paper
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Have questions about the Act? Please email aquacultureconsultations.xmar@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Connor Robinson / Acting Director for Aquaculture Policy Directorate at Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Margaret Andrade / Policy Analyst at Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Day 2 – January 28, 2021

9:00 – 9:15 a.m.


Opening Remarks & APC Fisheries Update

An update on APC’s Fisheries and Integrated Resources Department.

Melissa Nevin / Director of Fisheries and Integrated Resources at Atlantic Policy Congress of First
Nations Chiefs Secretariat

9:15 – 9:45 a.m.


Let FMS Work for Your CFE

An overview of the updated Fisheries Management System and how it can benefit community fishers.

Cindy Theriault / Fisheries Business Development Team at Ulnooweg

Leo Boychuk / CEO of Masters/Boychuk Consulting Ltd.

9:45 – 10:15 a.m.


The Impacts of Cold Storage & Processing During COVID-19

An overview of changes to Cold Storage and Processing during COVID-19.

Tina Hall / from Baie Chaleur Fisheries

10:45 – 11:15 a.m.


Ghost Gear: Piloting Dive-based Removals in the Bay of Fundy

A presentation of Maliseet Nation Conservation Council’s ghost gear removal project.

Roger Sark / Commercial Fisheries Liaison Coordinator at Maliseet Nation Conservation Council

Kaleb Zelman / Aquatic Ecologist at Maliseet Nation Conservation Council

11:15 – 12:00 p.m.

Commercial Cold Water Shrimp Panel

A panel discussion of commercial cold water shrimp in Atlantic Canada.

Zach Whynot (Moderator) / Manager at TriNav Fisheries Consultants Inc

Emmanuel Sandt-Duguay (Panelist) / Commercial Fisheries Liaison Coordinator at Mi’gmaq
Maliseet Aboriginal Fisheries Management Association

Rob Coombs (Panelist) / Senior Fisheries Advisor for the NunatuKavut Community Council

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Opportunities in Aquaculture for First Nations

Adrian Desbarats / Aquaculture Business Development Advisor at Ulnooweg
Jason Mullen / Aquaculture Business Development Advisor at Ulnooweg

Tobique First Nation Commercial Fisheries
An overview of Tobique First Nation’s aquaculture operations.
Eric Christmas / Fisheries Advisor at Tobique First Nation

Bideford Shellfish Hatchery
An overview of Lennox Island’s aquaculture operations.
Mike Randall / Executive Director at Bideford Shellfish Hatchery

Salaweg Inc. Kelp Farming and Processing
An update of Salaweg’s kelp farming and processing.
Marie-Helene Rondeau / Project Manager in Fisheries and Aquaculture at Mi’gmaq Maliseet Aboriginal Fisheries Management Association
Frederic B. Cote / Coordinator at Salaweg Inc.

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Recommendations from the Indigenous Program Review

An update on the renewal of DFO’s Indigenous-based programs.

Kevin Fram / Senior Director of Indigenous Programs at Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Richard Norrena / Manager of Indigenous Commercial Programs at Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Steven Purvis / Manager of Indigenous Programs at Fisheries and Oceans Canada

3:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Closing Remarks and Prayer

Elder closes the conference with a closing prayer, and the Director of Fisheries and Integrated Resources at APC gives her closing remarks.

Elder Joe Michael / Sipekne’katik First Nation

Melissa Nevin / Director of Fisheries and Integrated Resources at the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat


The APC Fisheries Awards are an important part of the APC Fisheries Conference. The awards recognize people who have made a significant contribution to fisheries of First Nations people in the Atlantic region and who have made a positive impact within their communities. This year marks the 10th year of the awards ceremony.

Due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions, the Fisheries Awards Banquet will be postponed until September 16th, 2021, when gathering restrictions will potentially be lifted. The banquet will be hosted as a hybrid event in Halifax, NS in the fall.

APC is pleased to announce this year’s APC Fisheries Awards recipients, presented at the 2021 APC Fisheries Conference:


Captain Ryan Peter-Paul of Pabineau First Nation, NB

Ryan Peter Paul has been involved in the fisheries since 2005. Ryan started his fishing as a deckhand on the community crab boat the Oiesepoeghel. Ryan was always involved in the fisheries from fishing rock crab, sea urchins, scallops, shrimp, lobster and his passion Snow crab fishing. Ryan decided that he wanted to go through the process of becoming a captain. In 2018 Ryan was able to complete his captains level 4 and is now the captain on the community crab boat. As a captain, Ryan has proven to be able to get the job done. He has always ensured our quota has been caught and has gone the extra mile in inquiring that there is a reliable crew on board.


Alexandria (Alexan) Christmas of Membertou First Nation, NS

Alexandria, also known to her friends and family as “Alexan” , is a skillful and knowledgeable deckhand who pulls more than her weight around the boat. She works on the Thankful 2 and Catch 22 vessels in her community. She’s always ready, willing and able to go to work whether commercial, food fishery or moderate livelihood. Alexan is also the only female snow crab deckhand out of 24 other crab fishers in Membertou. She was also a captain in the 2020 lobster food and ceremonial fishery in Membertou. Alexan is a role model for other women entering the fishing industry. She has a strong voice and is always ready to stand up for Mi’kmaq rights.


Captain Todd Paul, Anthony Bear, Thomas Nash of Sitansisk (Saint Mary’s) First Nation, NB

Todd and his young crew have excelled and persevered through some very tough and challenging situations. Never getting discouraged, they always seem to keep on “keeping on”. Having a smaller vessel (The Expenditure) and Captain Todd just two years behind the wheel, the crew are doing an outstanding job – The best is yet to come.


Captain Kendrick Milliea of Elsipogtog First Nation, NB

Kendrick started out as a lobster deckhand for his grandfather. After just two years as a deckhand, it was evident to his grandfather that Kendrick had the ability to take over the boat as the new Captain of Gitpo II. Kendrick is currently age 27, and has been the owner and Captain of Gitpo II for three successful years. He is one of the youngest Captains to come from Elsipogtog First Nation.

As the Captain, he is in charge of managing day to day operations, expenses, and maintaining the boat. He employs three youth members of the community for each lobster season. He strives to teach them every aspect about lobster fishing, and the utmost importance of safety measures while on the job.

When Kendrick is not busy being the Captain during lobster season, he will work as a deckhand on other vessels. Throughout the year, he will also fish: snow crab, rock crab, alewife (gaspereau), and tuna. Other Captains say Kendrick will always go above and beyond his duties.

When asked about his future plans, Kendrick says he sees himself continuing to fish and teaching the ropes to the upcoming generation


Adam Paul of Pictou Landing First Nation, NS

Adam has been a fisher since he was a teenager – always helping Captains around the community and learning about the trade. Adam is now 45 year old, married to Shannon who also fishes with him, a father, and a grandfather. He has mentored and trained a number of members from Pictou Landing First Nation and surrounding communities. He takes his job seriously and is a very proud fisher. Over the years, he has grown his skills to harvest, mentor, leader, and repairing his boat. He takes great pride in providing for his family and teaching about fishing.

Adam ensures that everyone is safe and will not hesitate to remind others of his protocols and procedures on the boat. He also takes the time to offer teachings and guidance to his workers. He knows that it is important to share our teachings so that they too can share it with their families. Adam is also know to help a fellow fisher out – that is just the kind of guy he is. He will not hesitate to lend a hand whether it is with towing a boat, helping someone with repairs, or supporting them when they get started. This is what he was taught so it is shared with no hesitation to others.


Chief Terrance J. Paul of Membertou First Nation, NS

Chief Terrance J. Paul was nominated by many of his community members for his outstanding accomplishment of closing the $1 billion deal to purchase Clearwater. The deal is a partnership between the B.C. company Premium Brands, and Membertou and Miapukek First Nations. This purchase will make the Mi’kmaq communities 50% owners of Clearwater and give the First Nations ownership of all of the target company’s fishing licenses in LFA 41. This is one of the biggest fishing deals in First Nations history. The Clearwater deal is without a doubt an astonishing leap forward for the Mi’kmaq people in Atlantic Canada.


Dawn Campbell-Sappier of Lennox Island First Nation, PE (Bideford Shellfish Hatchery)

In 2015 when the concept of developing a shellfish hatchery on Lennox Island was born, Dawn was chosen from the community as the very first employee for the business. At the time, Dawn was working with the Property Management arm of the Lennox Island Development Corporation. Although Dawn lacked experience in shellfish aquaculture, she had all the foundational characteristics that Lennox Island was looking for, specifically, dedication, hard work ethic, reliability and related interests (ie. Diploma in Environmental Management, Holland College).

To help transition her into this new role, Dawn spent 3 months working under the tutelage of Allison McIsaac, Manager of the experiment shellfish hatchery in Eskasoni. Dawn brought this knowledge back with her to Lennox Island where she began working under the on-going tutelage of Steve Palmer. Steve had many years experience working in shellfish hatchery production and was hired as the new Hatchery Manager. Under Steve’s guidance, Dawn learned all aspects of hatchery operations such as water quality control, equipment maintenance, algae culture, broodstock conditioning, spawning, juvenile production and on-growing.

With Steve’s regretful passing in October, 2019, it was unanimously agreed that Dawn should be given the opportunity to step up. Dawn was initially given the title of Acting Hatchery Manager. With Dawn at the helm, the hatchery had its best season to date. This achievement was no accident but rather it was a result of Dawn’s leadership, experience and dedication to success. Dawn has recently been awarded the position of Hatchery Manager (no longer “Acting”). This promotion was given as official recognition of Dawn’s hard work in helping the hatchery become the success it has become.


Curtis Falls of Acadian First Nation, NS

Text to come.


Carol Ann Potter and Kerry Payson of Bear River First Nation, NS

Carol Ann (Fisheries Manager/Councillor) and Kerry (Asst Fisheries Mgr / Band Manager) share the FMS duties. They have worked very hard as a team to accomplish a successful start-up of the Bear River First Nation new vessel over the past year, and they have contributed much to the achievement of a well run fishing operation. They see the value in timely data input so that the FMS is used to track and monitor fishing results, plus it is used to keep track of maintenance and other details. Information provided by the FMS plays a key role in fisheries forecasting and fisheries reporting duties


Cameron Francis of Elsipogtog First Nation, NB

Cameron started off fishing lobster with a friend way back with an old used vessel that they purchased together. They received a lobster license from the band and fished that together until they went their separate ways.

Over the years, Cameron fished hard and always put his money back into his business, which eventually led him to purchase his own snow crab allocation and vessel from the band and the same with tuna. This past year, he was finally able to pursue his dream of designing and purchasing a brand new vessel the “Mike and Rhoda” on his own.

This past fishing season, Cameron had the highest landings in both lobster and snow crab as he has throughout the years. He continues to be a very important asset to Elsipogtog’s fishery fleet of 76 vessels and to their community where he holds the fishery portfolio as a council member.


James Doucette of Potlotek / Membertou First Nation, NS

James Doucette is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to traditional fish harvesting, hunting and gathering. He along with his partner Chenise Hache, formed Reclaiming Our Roots, a social action organization aimed at helping youth reclaim their identity. This involves hunting fishing and gathering and giving to First Nations in the Halifax area where Reclaiming Our Roots is located. James has taken youth out on trips to fish for bass, trout, smelts and eels. James, knowing that there is a small number of salmon, has refused to fish salmon the past 5-6 years. He has a strong relationship with the land and believes in giving the salmon an opportunity to regenerate in numbers. He takes only what he needs and shares with his friends, family, and neighbours.

In the community of Potlotek, James helped another community member prepared fish and eels traditionally for a Celtic Colours Event. James has the traditional hunting and fishing skills but he also has the traditional cooking skills. He cooked eels and fish over an open fire. All the while sharing the steps of his techniques and engaging the audience. He is a gifted storyteller, as that goes hand and hand with fishing. 

James has been sharing his skills with other youth, encouraging them to take on the role of land-based learner and pass it on in their communities. James provides Potlotek with much needed eels and fish for their yearly Mid-Winter Feast in January. He spends days out on the ice fishing for eels. Again, he will be surrounded by youth as he takes every opportunity to connect with youth and not only show them the ways of our ancestors, but he takes the time to get to know them on a personal level and help them on their walk through life.

Nominate A Fisher

If you would like to recognize the exceptional achievements by a First Nations’ fisheries member in your community for the 11th Annual First Nations Commercial Fisheries Awards, please have your nominations in before November 30th, 2021.

Fisheries Enterprise Management Training (FEMT) Program 2021 Graduates

The Fisheries Enterprise Management Training Program (FEMT) was developed to provide First Nation Fisheries Coordinators and Managers the skills and knowledge needed in the day-to-day and long-term enterprise management of the Commercial Fisheries Enterprises. The training involves the delivery of a series of six 4-day training sessions. To date, over 100 community fisheries personnel from 28 communities across the Atlantic have participated in the FEMT Program.

Congratulations to the Fisheries Enterprise Management Training (FEMT) Program 2021 Graduates!

Robert (Bobby) Gould
Operations Manager, Waycobah First Nation

Gail Tupper
Natural Resources and Environment Officer, Glooscap First Nation

Charlie Marshall
Policy Analyst, Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat