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Union Welcomes Area A Crab As First Member Association

UFAWU-Unifor is very happy to welcome the Area A Crab Association as its first Member Association.  

The Dungeness crab fishery is one of the most valuable fisheries in the Pacific Region, and Area A (Hecate Strait) makes up the largest percentage of the total crab fleet — both in number of active harvesters and in terms of landings.  

Area A Crab Association representatives have been highly active in advocating for the fleet and the resource. Area A representatives and the fleet were also instrumental in funding, developing, and utilizing the first Electronic Monitoring (EM) system in Canadian fisheries. They participate in a ghost gear retrieval program and scientific monitoring program that is integral to the sustainable management of the fishery and healthy crab stocks. 

BC’s commercial fishing industry is undergoing some of its most challenging times, and active harvesters are the ones enduring the brunt of it. 

UFAWU-Unifor began when separate harvester organizations joined together to become the United Fishermen’s Federal Union (UFFU) as they realized that in unity, they were stronger and able to have more influence in the decisions that impacted their livelihoods. From there, the UFFU and the union representing shoreworkers joined together and the UFAWU was formed.  

In the past decade, we have seen commercial fishing fleets and harvesters lose access to our livelihoods, with DFO management decisions becoming increasingly based on politics rather than sound science, while we are used as scapegoats for their failures.  

With that in mind, and looking both to our past and our future, UFAWU-Unifor leadership made the decision to open membership to interested harvester associations — offering solidarity and working together in a united front to ensure that we see commercial fishing survive as a way of life and that we all have access to sustainably caught wild seafood for generations to come.  

It is UFAWU-Unifor’s sincere hope that the Area A Crab Association is the first of many new Member Associations, and we welcome the hard and rewarding work to come!

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