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Code of Ethics


The Code of Ethics for Professional Fish Harvesters gives guidance for ethical matters and serves as a means for self-evaluationand reflection regarding ethical fishing practices. The Code of Ethics not only will educate fish harvesters about their responsibility, but will also inform the public about the ethical commitments expected of fish harvesters.


The Code of Ethics shall apply to all Professional Fish Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Code of Ethics does not attempt to define all matters of acceptable practice but rather to serve as a guide for professional conduct.


Professional Fish Harvesters have an obligation to conduct themselves in an honest and ethical manner. First and foremost, members have to manage the resource with respect. They must also act ethically in their relationship with the general public and associates. They must also do their utmost to preserve and enhance the dignity of fishing as a profession.


Upon receiving a complaint of unethical conduct by a fish harvester in a manner that is related to the fishing profession, the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board shall consider appropriate action, including referring serious matters to the Disciplinary Committee.


The Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board will periodically revise its Code of Ethics to address the changing needs of the fishing industry.


All Professional Fish Harvesters must adhere to the Code of Ethics as herein established.


Duties of the Professional Fish Harvester to the Profession:
A Professional Fish Harvester shall:
1.1 conduct affairs in a professional manner in a spirit of integrity and courtesy;
1.2 avoid conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in professional practice;
1.3 engage in continuing education and upgrading of ones knowledge and skills relevant to fish harvesting;
1.4 advise the Board of any practice by another member of the profession, which he or she believes to be contrary to the Code of Ethics;
1.5 participate and contribute to the formation of fisheries policies through cooperation with fisheries managers to ensure that the acquired knowledge of certified professional fish harvesters is incorporated in all management plans;
1.6 observe all Federal and Provincial fisheries related laws, regulations and conditions of licences;
1.7 adhere to fisheries policies that optimize the landed value and quality of the catch;
1.8 contribute to the formation of fisheries policies that will promote increased safety of all fish harvesters;
1.9 engage in fish harvesting activities in a manner beneficial to the public interest, recognizing that the resource is a common property and should not be owned by any one individual;
1.10 promote public awareness and knowledge of fish harvesting and its importance to the Newfoundland and Labrador economy;
1.11 support and promote the activities of Professional Fish Harvester organizations dedicated to furthering the interests of Professional Fish Harvesters;
1.12 be a member in good standing of an organization recognized by the Labour Relations Board to represent fish harvesters or the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Fisheries Co-operatives;
1.13 respect colleagues and not maliciously or falsely injure the professional reputation or practice of another fish harvester;
1.14 refrain from offering any form of compensation to a fish harvester in order to secure employment or a recommendation for employment in the fishery;
1.15 avoid offering or accepting anything of value that could be perceived as influencing or intending to influence the actions of a public agency.


Crew members relationship with a Captain
A Crew member shall maintain a Professional and Ethical relationship with a Captain and shall:
2.1 provide competent, responsible service to the fishing enterprise;
2.2 recognize the confidential nature of information pertinent to the fishing enterprise and except as required by law do not release such information;
2.3 inform the captain and if necessary, inform other affected parties of circumstances where the public interest may be adversely affected in matters of environmental pollution, fish quality deficiencies and safely standards.

Captains relationship with Crew members
The Captain shall maintain a Professional and Ethical relationship with Crew members and shall:
3.1 employ only those professional fish harvesters who have been certified by the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board of Newfoundland and Labrador in connection with his/her fishing activity;
3.2 encourage and support crew members interested in achieving a higher certification level and designation under the professionalization program;
3.3 recognize a special obligation to Apprentice Fish Harvesters by giving them their time and knowledge to further their professional advancement;
3.4 refrain from replacing a regular crew member without just cause;
3.5 practice the principles of equity and fairness in establishing crew members sharing arrangements;
3.6 provide and maintain a safe work environment for the crew members.


Sections of the Professional Fish Harvesters Act that Reference a Code of Ethics:


Section 4:
Objectives of the Board

  • to develop, maintain and monitor compliance of a Code of Ethics for fish harvesters;

  • to apply sanctions against fish harvesters who violate the Board's Code of Ethics.


Section 11:
Code of Ethics

  1. the Board shall, with the approval of the Minister, adopt a Code of Ethics of Professional Fish Harvesters;

  2. a Professional Fish Harvester shall conduct himself or herself in accordance with the Code of Ethics and failure to do so constitutes professional misconduct by the fish harvester.

Section 20:
Disciplinary Board

  • the Minister shall appoint a Disciplinary Board which shall hear and determine complaints against Professional Fish Harvesters;

  • two of the members shall be Professional Fish Harvesters who are not members of the Board chosen from a list provided by fish harvesters organizations;

  • the third member of the Board shall not be a Professional Fish Harvester and shall serve as the chairperson;

  • the members of the Disciplinary Board shall be appointed for a 3 year term and are eligible for re-appointment.

Section 21:
Disciplinary Proceedings

  1. where the Disciplinary Board is of the opinion or has reasonable grounds to believe that a Professional Fish Harvester has failed to comply with the Code of Ethics, the Board shall investigate, hear and determine the matter;

  2. the Board shall give 2 weeks notice by registered mail or personal service to the Professional Fish Harvester who is the subject of the proceeding of the date, time and place of a hearing into the matter;

  3. the Professional Fish Harvester who is the subject of the disciplinary proceeding has the right to be heard and to be represented by a lawyer or other person at the hearing;

  4. where the Board conducts a hearing under subsection (1), it shall keep a written record of the proceedings, findings, determination and reasons;

  5. the Board may, where it determines that the disciplinary proceedings against the Professional Fish Harvester is substantiated take disciplinary measures that the Board considers appropriate including,
    5a. suspend the certification of the Professional Fish Harvester for the period the Board considers appropriate;
    5b. cancel the certification of the Professional Fish Harvester permanently;
    5c. impose upon the Professional Fish Harvester a monetary penalty not to exceed $10,000; and
    5d. impose those other conditions or limitations that the Board considers appropriate;


  6. for the purpose of conducting a disciplinary proceeding under this section, the Disciplinary Board and each member has the powers that are or may be conferred on a commissioner under the Public Inquiries Act;

  7. notice of the decision of the Disciplinary Board shall be sent by registered mail to the Professional Fish Harvester who has been the subject of the proceeding;

  8. where a Professional Fish Harvester's certification is suspended or cancelled, he or she shall return it to the Executive Director of the Board within 10 days of receiving the notice of suspension or cancellation unless he or she appeals to the Trial Division from the decision of the Board under Section 21.

Section 22:
Appeal to Court


  1.  An appeal may be made to the Trial Division from a decision of the Disciplinary Board under section 20;

  2. The Rules of the Supreme Court, 1986 respecting appeals apply to an appeal under this section.

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