is a broad-based organization that represents over 1,200 independent inshore owner-operator fishermen with roots in NB and NS coastal communities.

The Governance of the MFU stems from a By-Annual General Assembly Convention and is represented in the interim by its Maritime Council and Provincial Caucuses. The Executive of the MFU is led by the overall MFU President, two Provincial Vice-Presidents and a Secretary Treasurer.  

The MFU works in collaboration with a great array of international, national, regional and local associations mostly in direct link with the fisheries, and in some cases, related to the socio-economic affairs of the coastal / rural population of Atlantic Canada.

The fundamental and most important structure for the organization is based on a wharf representations system. Its more formal structure uses a Locals system in the following manner:

Nova Scotia

Local 9: South West Nova Scotia

Local 6: Eastern Cape Breton

Local 4: Southern Northumberland Strait

New Brunswick

Local 10 : Bay des Chaleur

Local 1: Acadian Peninsula

Local 3: Upper Northumberland Strait

Local 2: Central Northumberland Strait

Local 5: Southern Northumberland Strait


What We've Achieved

Thoughout the years, the MFU has had many achievements for its members, some of the most important are listed below:

  • Bona fide fishing policy
  • A unique program of employment insurance (EI) for the fishing industry
  • Larger herring quota share vs large seiners (industrial fleet)
  • Health plan for harvesters
  • Capital gains exemption plan
  • Access to new resources and to better sharing agreements (i.e. snow crab, halibut, etc.)
  • License retirement program
  • Creation of a national Federation of fishery associations to defend the independence of harvesters
  • Resilient lobster fishery through aggressive conservation measures
  • MSC certification
  • Advanced research and lobster seeding program through Homarus
  • International promotion of lobster harvesting techniques and specifics

Our values

  • Democratic representation and participative management for general orientations and major decision making
  • Equitable access to the general resource
  • Equitable and collective approach to the distribution of MFU services
  • Recognizing scientific knowledge for the management of the resource
  • Promoting the traditional knowledge of fish harvesters for the management of the resource
  • Recognizing the respective governmental responsibilities in the fisheries
  • Defending the interests of the inshore fleet when confronted with other fleets and governments
  • Sustainability of the resource for future generations to come

The impossible is definitely something possible at the MFU for as long as the individuals in the organization believe…and as long as the beliefs of individual members are heard by the organization. This only becomes real through the strong and constant participation of members.
— Michael Belliveau