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1940-1988, predominant 1947-1985 (Creation)
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The Seafood Producers Association of Nova Scotia, formerly known as the Nova Scotia Fish Packers Association, was formed in 1942 as a non-profit industry association to provide a voice for their members by representing them in dealings with the government, media, and the general public. All members have an equal say in the Association's activities. Members range from small to large seafood processors and are provided with information on topics relating to the fishing industry, including government actions and proposals. The Seafood Producers Association is affiliated with the Fisheries Council of Canada. It has no government affiliations, although they often act as industry advisors on various government committees including bilateral fisheries negotiations, government policies and regulations, over-the-side sales, and dockside grading. Along with being a liaison between members and government officials and the Fisheries Council of Canada, and providing information to their members, the Association has also prepared submissions and briefs, assisted in promotion of fish products in the United States and Canada, and provided financial support to research of the nutritional benefits of seafood.
In 1944, their name changed from Nova Scotia Fish Packers to the Fish Packers Association of the Maritimes when many processors from New Brunswick joined the Association. Their named changed back to Nova Scotia Fish Packers Association when fish packer associations were formed in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. At the annual meeting in 1980, the Nova Scotia Fish Packers Association became the Seafood Producers Association of Nova Scotia.
Out of their office on Hollis Street, and later their office on Alderney Drive in Dartmouth, they operated their sister organizations the Canadian Atlantic Salt Fish Exporters Association, Atlantic Fishing Vessel Association, Atlantic Queen Crab Association, and Atlantic Fisheries By-Products Association. The Seafood Producers Association's secretarial staff performed the same duties for these associations.
The first meeting was held on February 17, 1942, with H.G. Connor as the president. Over the years, presidents were elected from processing companies that were members. Some presidents included A. Kerr, J.B. Morrow, D.F. Corney, William Murdoch and D.R. Bollivar. The current president is Roger C. Stirling.
Past secretary-treasurers, executive directors, secretary-managers, assistant managers, and managers included H.P. Connor, Robert (Bob) Johnson, Roger C. Stirling, Bruce Chapman, Deborah S. Lawrence, Eric Roe, and John T. Salsbury. Some of the members of the Seafood Producers Association of Nova Scotia were Acadia Fisheries Ltd., Booth Fisheries Canadian Company Ltd., British Columbia Packers Ltd., Connors Brothers Ltd., Comeau's Seafoods Ltd., Karl Karlsen and Co. Ltd., Mersey Seafoods Ltd., National Sea Products, H.B. Nickerson and Sons, Snow Brothers Ltd., Swim Brothers Ltd., and United Maritime Fishermen Ltd.
The Seafood Producers Association of Nova Scotia is currently still active, but with fewer staff due to the decline in the fishing industry in Atlantic Canada.
Records were maintained by the Association until it started donating them to the Dalhousie University Archives. The first donation was in 1976 and further donations followed in 1977, 1988, 1989 and 1994.
In December 1976, Robert Johnson donated circulars from 1957 to 1967. In June 1977, Roger Stirling donated circulars dating from 1947 to 1966, correspondence, miscellaneous papers, reports, and members correspondence dating from 1949 to 1970. In August 1989, Jan Bellefontaine donated correspondence and miscellaneous papers dating from 1947 to 1981. In September 1988, Betty Thorn donated correspondence and miscellaneous papers dating from 1964 to 1976 and in October 1994 she donated thirty-nine boxes of administrative records from 1974 to 1988.
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