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* To provide community based management of the fishing resource and to ensure a sustainable resource fishery and habitat, healthy fish stocks (where they do not inhibit recovery if the industry is in decline).
* To act as an information liaison between inshore fishermen and the Dept. of Fisheries, as well as provide effective representation within the industry and other associations.
* To secure training and regulation requirements as the industry dictates.
* To engage in industry related research that is both relevant and participatory.
The GCIFA is an accredited non-profit association under the Fisheries Organization Support Act, registered with the Registry of Joint Stock. The association is made up of core fishermen and crewmembers that reside and fish in the County of Guysborough, NS. There are 134 members who are primarily inshore, small boat, fixed gear fishermen. The fishermen hold a variety of species licenses as well as temporary permits to fish new exploratory fisheries.
The association has a volunteer board of directors who are elected from the membership. There is a president, vice president and secretary/treasurer who are also elected from the membership. The association operates as a one vote to one member democracy. The association has representatives on 34 different industry, advisory and management committees. Members voluntarily sit on these County, Regional, Provincial and National boards with two representatives required for each.
The association has two full time staff members; a marine lab technician and a association manager who doubles as a community research coordinator. The GCIFA office is located at 990 Union Street, Canso NS in the GCIFA community hall. The association owns the training hall, marine lab and office space and uses this facility to hold training sessions, meetings and information sessions. The new marine lab is fully equipped to complete a variety of research projects. The hall has a large meeting room that is often donated or rented to community groups.
All 134 members are certified in accordance with industry training requirements for Marine Emergency Duties, Marine Advanced First Aid and WHIMIS. Members hold either Class II, III or IV Fishing Master Certification. The association provides any training that is required or requested by the members and also provides workshop and information sessions on fishery management and related issues.
The GCIFA continues to partner with a variety of community organizations, regional development authorities, government fisheries agencies as well as Human Resource Development and St. Francis Xavier University to complete community projects and fishery infrastructure projects. The GCIFA has been a student grant employer since 1974.