Background of the PFHCB
The Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board (PFHCB) became operational in 1997 following proclamation of the Professional Fish Harvesters Act by the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly.
The concept of professionalization originated and was first discussed with fish harvesters in 1990. From this meeting a model for the certification of fish harvesters was developed. Spearheaded by the Fish Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) and supported by Fisheries Co-operatives, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, and other government agencies and educational institutions, the idea of professionalism in the fishery was the subject of a number of community consultations.
Consultations with fish harvesters at the community level were held in 1991 and 1994 to further refine the professionalization program. There was over 90% acceptance of professionalization by fish harvesters at these sessions.
When the Board became functional in 1997 the DFO registration system and its categories of full-time/part-time fisherman was replaced with the new designations of Apprentice Fish Harvester, Professional Fish Harvester Level I, and Professional Fish Harvester Level II.
The PFHCB is a non-profit organization created by and operating for the benefit of all Newfoundland and Labrador fish harvesters.